Boris Johnson's Brexit stance is "bizarre", says Peter Sutherland

The UN Special Representative took aim at the former London mayor on Lunchtime...

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Boris Johnson addresses supporters at a Vote Leave meeting at the Centre for Life in Newcastle | Image: Owen Humphreys / PA Wire/Press Association Images

Boris Johnson's interventions regarding the upcoming Brexit vote "have been bizarre and utterly uncalled for," according to Peter Sutherland, United Nations Special Representative for International Migration.

Speaking to Richard Chambers on Lunchtime, Mr Sutherland questioned the former Mayor of London's intentions in backing the 'Leave' campaign and attacking high-profile figures campaigning for Britain to remain in the EU, such as US President Barack Obama.

Calling Johnson's actions "peculiar", Sutherland said:

"I don't understand what his real position is, nor do I know whether he know what will happen to Britain [in the even of a [Brexit]".

Johnson was critical of Obama getting involved in the EU referendum debate last month. Writing for The Sun, he cited the decision of the Obama administration to remove a bust of Winston Churchill from the Oval Office:

"Some said it was a snub to Britain. Some said it was a symbol of the part-Kenyan president’s ancestral dislike of the British empire – of which Churchill had been such a fervent defender".

Johnson subsequently came in for heavy criticism over what some perceived to be "dog whistle racism".

Most recently, he suggested in a Telegraph interview that the EU was trying to create a superstate in the same manner as Adolf Hitler.

Sutherland said:

"Making any comparison reference to the EU in the same breath as Hitler is so ludicros as to be beyond parody".

Sutherland also countered the claims that the Irish campaign to "phone-a-friend" in the UK and argue against Brexit was preaching to the converted, opining that "there is a lot of persuasion left to be done of that community".

Nor did he feel we are overstating our influence.

"I think [British] people with an Irish Provenance take it seriously over here... It is important and it can make an impact".

The UK goes to the polls on June 23rd.