‘Answer the bloody question’ – Boris Johnson heckled during leadership debate

Mr Johnson’s lack of support for envoy seen as final straw in Darroch’s decision to quit

Boris Johnson was heckled during hustings in Cheltenham when he tried to dodge a question about whether he should have been more supportive towards Sir Kim Darroch in the ITV debate earlier in the week.

 

Boris Johnson was heckled at a Tory leadership husting in Cheltenham on Fridayafter he was asked about Sir Kim Darroch’s resignation.

Mr Johnson was told to “answer the bloody question” from a man in the crowd after he said “it would have been better if the who whole subject had never come up” when he was asked if could have handled the situation around the diplomatic leak better.

Mr Johnson’s lack of explicit support for the envoy in Tuesday’s TV leadership debate following a tirade of abuse from US president Donald Trump was widely seen as the final straw in his decision to quit. But the former foreign secretary insisted his comments in the debate had been “misrepresented” and denied withholding his backing.

Mr Johnson said he telephoned Sir Kim who told him he had not actually watched the debate although his comments had been passed on to him by someone else. “He said that what somebody had relayed to him had been a factor in his resignation,” Mr Johnson said. “I think that unfortunately what I said on that TV debate was misrepresented to Kim.”

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The man who heckled Boris did not wish to give his name to the press.

But the 74-year-old from Cirencester, Gloucestershire, said: “Why not answer the question that he is asked?

“He was asked did he regret what he did or didn’t say about the ambassador — he just said ‘I thought it was terrible that this stuff was leaked’.

“He did the same over Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe.

“The awful thing is he doesn’t need to.

“He needs to learn that he can safely say ‘I got that wrong, I’m sorry, I will do it better’”.

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