Stephen McNeice
Stephen McNeice

12.06 16 Sep 2020


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The British government is a "bunch of cowboys, gaslighters, charlatans and liars" who "don't know what they're doing", according to Alastair Campbell.

Tony Blair's former spokesman and strategist claims the UK is being governed by a "right-wing cabal".

It comes amid the ongoing controversy over Boris Johnson's government planned legislation which would overwrite parts of the Brexit withdrawal agreement relating to Northern Ireland and break international law.

Mr Johnson's government is pushing ahead with the legislation despite threats from the US that there'll be US-UK trade deal if the Good Friday Agreement is compromised.

Speaking on The Pat Kenny Show this morning, Mr Campbell urged people to stop referring to Boris Johnson as simply 'Boris'.

He said: "It has been part of his shtick the whole way through - he's basically a creature of the media, by the media, for the media. They all tend to call him Boris because it makes him sound a whole lot more cuddly and pleasant than he actually is.

"Normally people who are only known by one name... it's usually a term of endearment. Once you're a senior minister or prime minister, I think you should always call them by their surname."

He said he's been keeping track of the British government's 'excuses and explanations' over their recent Brexit moves, and that he believes they're now up to eight different versions.

He argued: "I think the most contemptible is the claim that it's to uphold the Good Friday Agreement.

"I think most reasonable Irish people would prefer to believe John Major and Tony Blair who actually wrote the damn thing than Boris Johnson."

'I think they wanted a distraction'

Mr Campbell said he doesn't believe the warnings from the US are an 'idle threat', and that he doesn't think Mr Johnson understands the details of the Good Friday Agreement.

However, he suggested the British government wanted a distraction from the "complete and total shambles" they've made of the coronavirus situation.

He observed: "They've always felt comfortable - the right-wing of the Tory party - when the dominant narrative in our politics is 'Britain's great, and Europe's terrible'. The best they can do now is get a very bad deal for Britain - the worst that can happen is no deal.

"What they want to be able to do is say if they get a bad deal it's because of the Europeans being difficult... and if they get no deal it's because of the Europeans being impossible. They don't care about the truth... it's like dealing with Trump.

"At least Trump does put himself out there and allow himself to be grilled and questioned - Johnson runs away from the media and difficult questions."

He claimed that the sooner the British government is gone "the better", but noted it's very hard to get rid of a government that has such a clear majority in parliament.

Main image: File photos of Alastair Campbell and Boris Johnson. Picture via PA / Press Association Images

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