Ken Livingstone accused Boris Johnson of being all over the place and lacking “an agenda” to take Britain forward. The former Mayor of London has seen 16 different Prime Ministers in his lifetime and he claimed no one during that period and even before has ever suffered such a chastening polling “collapse”. Mr Livingstone, who played down Mr Johnson’s successess throughout the interview with GB News host Mark Dolan, told a funny anecdote about the current Prime Minister, quoting what his former editor once told him.
He said: “His former editor when he was a journalist, Max Hastings said, never leave Boris alone with your wife and your wallet!”
Mr Livingstone is under no illusion that Mr Johnson has lost his mojo and won’t get it back, revealing that Tory MPs privately tell him that he’s a liar.
Asked by Mr Dolan if Mr Johnson eventually gets “done for” the party allegations, Mr Livingstone said: “Oh, absolutely! If you look at the collapse in the opinion polls he’s gone through, it’s almost unprecedented for any Prime Minister in our past.
“And I think people now realise he hasn’t got an agenda, he’s not really on top of the job and I had privately, Senior Conservatives over the years saying to me, he’s the most dishonest politician and he lies more than anyone else!”
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But Mr Dolan wasn’t entirely convinced that Mr Johnson’s days at Nr 10 are over, insisting that the Prime Minister is a serial winner and magnet for success who has the “X-Factor”
He stated: “The bottom line is this guy does have the X-Factor with voters though. If you were a Tory backbencher would you really want to get rid of this election-winning machine?
“I am responsible for getting Brexit done, for an 80-seat majority, for winning the Red Wall seats which were previously Labour-dominated…I mean this guy could bounce back and that would be playing on your mind if you were a Backbencher!”
But Mr Livingstone did not find any common ground with the presenter, insisting that Mr Johnson only excelled because he is a “celebrity” but unlike in years gone by, he can no longer play the sympathy card these days.
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Mr Livingstone again refused to agree with him, stressing that those who created the vaccine deserve the plaudits and not Mr Johnson who is apparently responsible for Britain’s “highest death toll” due to his dithering over lockdowns when COVID-19 began to take hold.
Mr Johnson should carry the load for Britain’s pandemic troubles, as he fired back saying: “The best thing we had was that our scientists created the vaccine.
“That’s important but Boris Johnson went into a lockdown later than any other country in western Europe.
“We had the highest death toll. Many thousands of people died because Boris went into that lockdown so later and now I’m worried.
“I think he’s coming out too soon, we are seeing a big surge, the highest rate of new infections than at any time in the last few years.”
And the animated debate ended with Mr Livingstone stressing that yes, Omicron might be “milder than the other, but it still kills people” as he pleaded with Mr Johnson not to ” lift these restrictions for another few weeks.”