- Theresa May watches as Boris Johnson is slapped down from the conference stage in Birmingham
- Lord Digby Jones savages the former foreign secretary Boris Johnson.
- He calls Johnson’s comments dismissing business concerns about Brexit “offensive”.
- May joined a standing ovation to the speech.
BIRMINGHAM, ENGLAND – Theresa May gave a standing ovation to a speaker who branded the former Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson “offensive” and an “irrelevance.”
Speaking at the Conservative Party conference in Birmingham, the former director of the Confederation of British Industry, Lord Digby Jones, said that Johnson’s recent comments about business leaders were deeply offensive.
Asked about corporate concerns over Brexit earlier this year, Johnson reportedly replied: “F*** business.”
Referring to Johnson’s comments, Jones said it showed up Johnson for the “irrelevance” he had become.
“Business is so important that when I heard a former Foreign Secretary say ‘F business’ it showed him up for the irrelevance and offensive person he is and I take great exception to that.”
He later added that “wealth creators don’t like business haters,” in an apparent reference to both Johnson and Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn.
The comments were applauded in the conference hall with the prime minister subsequently giving Jones’ speech a standing ovation.
In an apparently co-ordinated attack on Johnson, the Business Secretary Greg Clark also condemned Johnson’s comments, telling a fringe event that the former foreign secretary’s “F business” comments were “totally the wrong thing to say. And I’m surprised that anyone could even think that.”
Watch Boris Johnson branded an ‘irrelevance’
Digby Jones tears into Boris Johnson. Some uneasiness in the crowd… pic.twitter.com/6uDbTYGfpY
— Ben (@Jamin2g) September 30, 2018
The row came after Johnson launched an attack on May’s handling of Brexit in an interview in the Sunday Times suggesting her Chequers plan to leave the EU was “deranged.”
Johnson told the Sunday Times that “unlike the prime minister I campaigned for Brexit” and suggested that the party could win the next general election if it had a popular leader, as it did when he twice won the London mayoral election.
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