Johnson's 'suicide vest' jibe stirs new controversy

‘We have wrapped suicide vest around British constitution – and handed detonator to Michel Barnier,’ Boris Johnson writes

Johnson's 'suicide vest' jibe stirs new controversy

Boris Johnson, Britain’s former foreign secretary, who resigned over differences on Brexit strategies with Prime Minister Theresa May in July, has caused a fresh controversy by accusing her of wrapping a “suicide vest” around Britain and handing the detonator to Brussels.

The latest remarks appeared in an article penned by Johnson The Mail on Sunday, in which he described the latest Brexit strategy by the government “a humiliation.”

“We have opened ourselves to perpetual political blackmail. We have wrapped a suicide vest around the British constitution – and handed the detonator to [EU’s negotiator] Michel Barnier,” Johnson wrote.

The first reactions from the government over the article came from two Foreign Office ministers who served under Johnson as foreign secretary.

Minister for Europe and the Americas Alan Duncan was one of the first to react to Johnson’s “suicide vest” metaphor as he tweeted the act as one of the most disgusting moments in modern British politics.”

“For Boris to say that the PM’s view is like that of a suicide bomber is too much,” Duncan said on Twitter.

“This marks one of the most disgusting moments in modern British politics. I’m sorry, but this is the political end of Boris Johnson. If it isn’t now, I will make sure it is later.”

Alistair Burt, the minister for the Middle East, also criticized Johnson for the controversial remarks on Twitter.

“I’m stunned at the nature of this attack. There is no justification for such an outrageous, inappropriate and hurtful analogy,” Burt said.

He said: “If we don’t stop this extraordinary use of language over Brexit, our country might never heal. Again, I say, enough.”

“A suicide bomber murdered many in the courtyard of my office in Helmand,” Tory MP and Foreign Relation Committee Chariman Tom Tugendhat said.

“Comparing the PM to that isn't funny,” he said, taking on Johnson on Twitter.