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[Image: The Spectator.]

How can the UK, as a nation, put up with Boris Johnson any longer?

He is no statesman.

He is no representative of the people.

He is, quite simply, a thug with an expensive education.

Yesterday – October 3 – he managed to shame us all, not once, but twice.

At the Conservative Party Conference in Manchester, he said the following:

Note the toadying laughter of the Tory faithful, proving beyond doubt that they are not worthy of high office.

Sirte was the Libyan city where the country’s former leader Muammar Gaddafi was killed.

Shadow Foreign Secretary Emily Thornberry called for Mr Johnson to be sacked: “It is less than a year since Sirte was finally captured from Daesh by the Libyan government of national accord, a battle in which hundreds of government soldiers were killed and thousands of civilians were caught in the crossfire, the second time in five years that the city had seen massive loss of life as a result of the Libyan civil war.

“For Boris Johnson to treat those deaths as a joke – a mere inconvenience before UK business people can turn the city into a beach resort – is unbelievably crass, callous and cruel.

“If Boris Johnson thinks the bodies of those brave government soldiers and innocent civilians killed in Sirte are a suitable subject for throwaway humour, he does not belong in the office of foreign secretary.”

Quite correct.

Even Conservative MPs have called for his removal. Heidi Allen said it was “100 per cent unacceptable from anyone, let alone the foreign secretary”, adding: “Boris must be sacked for this. He does not represent my party.”

Astonishingly, Mr Johnson has not accepted that his behaviour was inappropriate:

They weren’t playing politics; they were seriously denouncing Mr Johnson for playing the fool about people’s lives.

This is not the first time the foreign secretary has behaved offensively to other nations – he had to be stopped from inappropriately quoting a colonial poem by Kipling in Myanmar recently.

Meanwhile, in the European Parliament, Mr Johnson was being discussed in the most disparaging way:

He was referring to Mr Johnson’s intervention in the Brexit process in which, adrift from his party and its leader, the foreign secretary announced four “red lines” – conditions without which he said the UK should not leave the EU. He was also speaking in support of a motion that was highly critical of the UK’s behaviour during the Brexit negotiations. It said the talks had not made sufficient progress to move on to the next stage of talks, and was upheld by 557 votes to 92 against, with 29 abstentions.

(So David Davis and his team are also shown up as inefficient, ineffectual and inconsequential.)

He has claimed that his £141,000+ per year salary is not enough to live on, in what many believe to be an out-and-out challenge to Theresa May’s leadership (and an insult to the vast majority of the UK’s population, who have to make do with much, much less).

Mrs May herself has proved too weak to tackle the issue. Speaking on The Andrew Marr Show on Sunday (October 1), she ducked the question of whether Mr Johnson was “unsackable”, saying her cabinet was “united”.

Perhaps she was trying to redefine the meaning of the word. After all, Jeremy Hunt tried to rewrite the history of the National Health Service, to claim that it was a Tory idea (in fact the Conservatives voted against it 22 times). Tories will say anything if they think it will win them an advantage.

If so, then – as with Mr Hunt’s comment – her logic is twisted. She has not won an advantage.

She has turned herself, her party, her government and her nation into an international laughing-stock.

And she reckons she’ll turn it all around in her speech today (October 4).

Considering her performance since becoming prime minister – no, since becoming home secretary in 2010 – it seems such a feat will be beyond her abilities.


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