Friday, 23 August 2019

When Boris looked fondly on Europe

MANY people may have forgotten that before he became MP for Henley in 2001, Boris Johnson stood unsuccessfully for Parliament in Wales.

He was runner-up in the Clwyd South constituency behind Labour’s Martyn Jones at the general election in 1997 when Tony Blair led Labour to victory.

If Mr Johnson then held ambitions to be Conservative leader and prime minister, he didn’t show it.

His biographer Sonia Purnell tells how his application to the local Conservative Association was written in a handwritten scrawl and he didn’t include a CV.

Nevertheless, he secured the candidacy by charming local members at the selection meeting.

According to journalist John Hind, who saw him on the campaign trail, Mr Johnson also expressed his views on Europe in somewhat lighter terms than those he has applied to Brexit.

He said: “I certainly want a European community where one can go and scoff croissants, drink delicious coffee, learn foreign languages and generally make love to foreign women.”

Not only did Mr Johnson lose the contest by almost 5,000 votes, but the Conservatives were out of power for another 13 years.

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