Tories need reminding that Boris Johnson is 'unfit for office,' Sir Keir Starmer tells LBC

20 October 2022, 18:26

'I would invite him to dust off and re-read all the resignation letters that he received in July'

By Asher McShane

Labour Leader Sir Keir Starmer told LBC today that Boris Johnson should keep his nose out of the Tory leadership contest because he was found to be ‘unfit for office.’

Speaking on Tonight with Andrew Marr, Sir Keir was asked for his ‘direct message’ to former PM Mr Johnson, who was flying back from a holiday in the Caribbean after Liz Truss resigned.

Sir Keir said: “I would invite him to dust off and reread all the resignation letters that he received in July, because all of his colleagues wrote saying how unfit he was for office and they couldn't serve him any longer. And I think they should all dust them off and reread them as well.”

Sir Keir Starmer said he wanted to remind Tories that Boris Johnson was unfit for office as PM
Sir Keir Starmer said he wanted to remind Tories that Boris Johnson was unfit for office as PM. Picture: Alamy/LBC

He went on to describe Liz Truss’s premiership as a ‘failed experiment’ that should ‘never have been inflicted on the British public’.

“It's a failure,” he said. “It was an experiment that should never have been carried out on the British public and has cost us dearly. On a human level I've got no ill will towards her. 

“She's under huge strain. And on a human level I wouldn't want to see that in anyone. But I would gently point out that for millions of people who can't pay their bills this winter, for millions of people who can't actually afford two or three, four or 500 pounds more on their mortgage payments. They're under huge strain as well. And, you know, forgive me if I speak for them.”

Read more: Boris Johnson ‘plans to run for PM’ as Rishi Sunak and Penny Mordaunt set to fight it out for No10

Read more: Wild horses won't stop Boris if he wants to run again', says Rachel Johnson

Business people tell Keir Starmer 'there isn't a grown up government to partner with'

On calls for a general election, Sir Keir added: “It is utter chaos. There's nobody who uses any other word. Or we have the stability of a Labour government coming in, stabilising the economy with a credible plan for the future.

"This is just a sort of soap opera in the Tory party. It's doing huge damage to our economy and to our reputation, and the public are paying the price for it. And they're entitled to a choice and not just a revolving door."

On the prospect of tax rises, he said: “I want a fair taxation system. We were critical of the government for what it was going to do on corporation tax. No business is coming to me saying the problem here is corporation tax.

"They're saying the problem here is we've got no stability, we've got no certainty. We can't make investment decisions. We want to partner with the government. But there isn't a grown up government to partner with.”

His comments come amid reports Mr Johnson is planning a run for PM. The reports emerged just hours after Liz Truss resigned after just 45 days in the job.

Mr Johnson, who was forced out of Downing Street in the summer, is planning to stand as he thinks it would be ‘in the national interest,’ according to the Times.

The latest odds for the next conservative leader this afternoon were: Rishi Sunak: 6/4; Penny Mordaunt: 4/1; Jeremy Hunt: 8/1; Ben Wallace: 10/1; and Boris Johnson at 13/1.

Other predicted runners and riders for the leadership include: Kemi Badenoch: 23/1 Michael Gove: 33/1 Theresa May: 33/1 and Suella Braverman: 40/1.

Government minister Sir James Duddridge said it was time for a comeback by Boris Johnson.

According to a poll out this week, the majority of Tory members want Boris to replace Ms Truss.

Liberal Democrat leader Sir Ed Davey said: "Liz Truss trashed our economy and before her Boris Johnson failed our country.

"The Conservatives have shown time and time again that they are not fit to govern our great country.

"We don't need another Conservative prime minister lurching from crisis to crisis, letting the British people down, increasing their mortgages, not tackling the economic problems.

"The only way we are going to sort this out is if the Conservative MPs for once do their patriotic duty and work with the opposition to get the general election our country needs to let the British people have their say."

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