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Stamford MP Nick Boles slams Prime Minister and Conservative Party leader hopeful Boris Johnson as a 'spineless buffoon'

During the referendum campaign Boris Johnson sold Brexit to the British people as the way to regain our independence and restore our national pride.

I wasn’t persuaded of the argument but I understood its appeal.

One of the frustrating things about life in the modern world is its complexity, the way that everything seems to be tied up in knots by international businessmen and bureaucrats, so that what happens on Grantham/Stamford High Street is the product of decisions made in Brussels, Beijing and Washington DC and seemingly outside the control of local people or even our political leaders in Westminster.

Nick Boles
Nick Boles

But if restoring our national pride was the point of a Boris Johnson premiership, God help us all. He hasn’t even got the job yet and is already buckling under international pressure.

By failing to back Kim Darroch, the British Ambassador to the United States, in the face of a petulant tirade from President Trump, Johnson made Darroch’s resignation inevitable and sent a message to foreign leaders around the world that Britain’s next Prime Minister can be bullied, that if you don’t like the cut of our ambassador’s jib, all you need to do is kick up a fuss on Twitter and we’ll be only too happy send him packing and offer you another more to your liking. This isn’t national independence but a craven subjugation of our national interests to the narcissistic whims of a foreigner.

The British people can now see that Boris Johnson will be Donald Trump’s poodle, that his response to any command from the White House will be “How high, Mr President?”

Imagine how Margaret Thatcher would have reacted if Ronald Reagan had ranted about the ‘pomposity’ of the British Ambassador and refused to do business with him.

In public she would have icily declared that she and she alone would decide who should serve as Her Majesty’s representative and that any insult to the Ambassador would be viewed an insult to Her Majesty the Queen and herself as Her Majesty’s Prime Minister.

In private she would have torn a strip off the President for his discourtesy and reminded him of the vital importance of the strong alliance between the United Kingdom and the United States to the security of the free world.

Once upon a time the Conservative Party gave the British people an Iron Lady.

She really did restore our national pride.

Now it proposes a spineless buffoon.

And national humiliation will inevitably follow.

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