Ed Davey Tells LBC Boris Johnson Needs To "Watch His Words"

25 June 2019, 20:40

Speaking to Iain Dale, Sir Ed Davey said he used "words which he shouldn't have done" when criticising Boris Johnson but warned that Mr Johnson needed to "watch his words."

The Liberal Democrat leadership hopeful said he had apologised for using the wrong words.

Iain Dale read out the article to Sir Ed: "I hereby float the idea of a Remain alliance to decapitate that blond head in Uxbridge and South Ruislip if Johnson calls a snap election to deliver Brexit."

The wording of the article saw the MP for Kingston and Surbiton come in for criticism following the murder of Labour MP Jo Cox and the increase in abuse politicians have received.

When Iain Dale asked him why he would use that word, the MP said: "I think it was done when, probably too tired and too busy. I apologise for it and I shouldn't have used it."

Ed Davey addressed his comments on Boris Johnson.
Ed Davey addressed his comments on Boris Johnson. Picture: LBC

Iain pointed out that the Lib Dems previously had a "decapitation strategy," but in this day and age "we have to watch our use of language."

Sir Ed said he agreed totally, and that he thought all politicians, "given the rise in hate crime" should use words more carefully.

During an interview earlier on Tuesday Sir Ed described the Conservative Party as "far right," Iain asked if it was "fair to describe a mainstream political party as far right."

"I think the Conservative Party have moved to the right," Sir Ed replied, "they are a rightist party and they are moving to the right."

The Lib Dem MP gave an example, when Iain Dale interrupted him and said: "We all know what far right means, and that's almost Nazi, racist, it's horrible stuff," but Sir Ed's example was not far right "by anyone's stretch of the imagination."

Telling LBC he thought there were people in the Conservative Party taking positions that are "on the extreme."

Labelling Boris Johnson as a "preacher of division," Iain Dale said again it was a "use of language which many people might say is inappropriate."

"I don't think so in that case," the Liberal Democrat said, "he's made comments which are racist, which are homophobic, Islamophobic, which are anti-Scottish," warning that Mr Johnson should "watch his words."

"I don't believe he's apologised."

Watch the whole exchange in the video at the top of the page, or watch the whole hour while Iain Dale grills Sir Ed and then LBC listeners have their go.