BORIS JOHNSON has always been an admirer of Winston Churchill. He wrote an acclaimed biography of the greatest Briton and has frequently invoked the wartime leader’s ‘never surrender’ speech in his own interventions.
However the Foreign Secretary is no Churchillian-like leader. Quite the opposite. He’s becoming a political liability who is undeserving of the misguided faith that Theresa May showed when she appointed her one-time rival to this once revered Great Office of State.
When Sir Winston said ‘never give in’, he meant it. When Mr Johnson said he would lie down in front of the bulldozers if a third runway was built at Heathrow Airport, he allowed himself to be ‘missing in action’ at the time of this week’s Commons vote.
Yet, while Mr Johnson’s visit to Afghanistan offers a partial defence, it doesn’t excuse his policy gaffes, undiplomatic language when he called for a ‘bog standard Brexit’ or his unkempt appearance. He’s allowed himself to become an even greater figure of fun at a time when Britain desperately needs statesmanship of the highest order, whether it be over the UK’s exit from the EU, global security or the consequences of mass migration. By now denouncing the Brexit concerns of business leaders in a disrespectful manner which would sadden Sir Winston, the Foreign Secretary is doing neither the country, nor the Tory party, any favours.