Boris Johnson is “crashing from one wall into another”, his former advisor has said.
Speaking on BBC Newsnight, Guto Harri, Johnson’s director of communications while he was mayor, said that the Prime Minister’s negotiations with the EU were alienating people and causing him to lurch from crisis to crisis.
He said that Johnson is now “crashing from one wall into another”.
His comments came in reaction to a briefing from No. 10 last night, which revealed that the government will seek to punish EU countries that agree to a Brexit delay, circumventing the Benn Act, which mandates the Prime Minister to seek an extension with the EU.
A source told The Spectator that the government plans to “make clear privately and publicly that countries which oppose delay will go [to] the front of the queue for future cooperation… supporting delay will be seen by this government as hostile interference in domestic politics”.
But Harri said that this was an “uber-aggressive strategy” that was not working.
“This is part of an uber-aggressive strategy that seemed to work for a few weeks in the summer when there wasn’t anyone to stop him but since then has meant that the PM who has reached where he is in public life through charm and though manoeuvring but not through aggression and not through alienating people and not through narrowing his appeal but by doing the exact opposite is now crashing from one wall into another”.
Yesterday, a Scottish court ruled that there was no need for it to issue an order to the government, to force it to abide by the Benn Act as it said it trusted the government to follow the law. Despite this, one of the petitioners who brought the case to to court, Jolyon Maugham expressed doubt that Boris Johnson would follow through. Now it seems that his instincts have been proven right, given this leaked briefing.
The government source added that the government wants to win an election on a manifesto of revoking laws such as the Benn Act to speed up Britain’s exit from the EU.
Emily Thornberry, shadow foreign secretary added that the government were acting like children. She said:
“It’s like dealing with children. It is quite clear that there has been a law passed and the law says that they must apply for a delay if they cannot get a deal”
She said that Parliament will make sure they are not able to “scrabble around the back of it” and said that they must follow the law.
Once again, it seems that Boris Johnson is too arrogant to believe the law of the land applies to him.