Skip to Content

Coffee House

Transcript: Boris Johnson on Andrew Marr

1 December 2019

3:03 PM

1 December 2019

3:03 PM

Boris Johnson appeared on the Andrew Marr Show this morning. Marr grilled the Prime Minister on everything from NHS spending to Andrew Neil. Read the full transcript here:

Andrew Marr: Simple question to start with, how could such a man be released onto the streets of Britain after serving only eight years? My final guest this morning is the Prime Minister, Boris Johnson. How could it happen, Boris Johnson?

Boris Johnson: Well, I’m afraid that when you look at the case, there are a number of conclusions that one can immediately draw. And that is, of course, first of all, Andrew, that I pay tribute to the emergency services, the reaction of the police, the public. Our sympathies, of course, are with the victims and their families.

Boris Johnson: But although it is very early, I think it is legitimate to look at the case in the way that you just have and to ask ourselves exactly that question. How could he be out so early? The answer is, I’m afraid, that he was out because he was on automatic early release. When the judges reviewed his sentence in 2012, they had no option but to comply with the law that Labour brought in in 2008, which meant effectively.

Andrew Marr: You say Labour, you’ve been in power.

Boris Johnson: Effectively that he was out, they had to comply with the law as it stood. And he was out in eight years. And this was a guy. Don’t forget that Judge Wilkie said was a very serious jihadi. And that’s why, that’s why, I’ve been in office for 120 days.

Andrew Marr: Your party has been in power for ten years.

Boris Johnson: That’s why when I stood on the steps of Downing Street, I said we were putting more money into policing. But I also said in August that we would no longer allow the automatic early release of serious and violent offenders. And what we’re doing now is there is a bill, which was in the Queen’s Speech, to prevent automatic early release.

Andrew Marr: There is nothing in your manifesto which would have changed this case, is there? Nothing in your manifesto.

Boris Johnson: There’s a bill in the Queen’s speech to prevent automatic early release, which I have campaigned against. And it was, to get to your question Andrew, it was because of automatic early release that this individual was out on the streets.

Andrew Marr: And that came about because

Boris Johnson: And that, had it not been.

Andrew Marr: His original sentence, sorry can I say his original sentence

Boris Johnson: And if he hadn’t got that early release.

Andrew Marr: His original sentence.

Boris Johnson: If he hadn’t had that early release

Andrew Marr: His original sentence

Boris Johnson: He would’ve been in until 2026.

Andrew Marr: His original sentence was in an indeterminate sentence to protect, IPP to protect the public.

Boris Johnson: That’s exactly correct.

Andrew Marr: That was abolished by the Conservatives under your colleague Ken Clarke when he was justice secretary, was that a mistake?

Boris Johnson: No. What we were doing.

Andrew Marr: Why not?

Boris Johnson: Because he was sentenced under Labour’s system that allowed him to be released automatically.

Andrew Marr: He was sentenced under IPP.

Boris Johnson: Having served only eight years. And when the judges, Judge Leveson and others reviewed his case in 2012, they determined that he could come out effectively after only eight years.

Andrew Marr: Alright, your government

Boris Johnson: Even though

Andrew Marr: Your government got rid of the IPPs in 2012.

Boris Johnson: So, what we have said.

Andrew Marr: In 2012 you got rid of the IPPs in 2012.

Boris Johnson: No.

Andrew Marr: And here is what the Ministry of Justice said about that. He said there was going to be new determinate sentences. This will see more dangerous criminals given life sentences and others spending longer periods in prison with tough conditions on release. It did not happen.

Boris Johnson: What we have said and what I have said since coming to office in the last three or four months is that I think this whole system of automatic early release, which was brought in by Labour, it was under and it was under that system.

Andrew Marr: You’ve been in power for ten years.

Boris Johnson: I’ve only been in office for 120 days.

Andrew Marr: I beg your pardon, you are leader of the Conservative party.

Boris Johnson: And by the way, one of the reason

Andrew Marr: The Conservative party has been in power for ten years.

Boris Johnson: One of the reasons we’re having this election is because we have a Queen’s speech that was blocked by parliament, amongst other things, not least Brexit. And we need to get it done so that we can move forward. I think it’s ridiculous. I think it’s repulsive that individuals as dangerous as this man should be allowed out after serving only eight years. And that’s why we are going to change the law.

Andrew Marr: He was, we were told that he was, under strict conditions when he was let out. What strict conditions were they?

Boris Johnson: Well, there are a number of conditions attached to his licence.

Andrew Marr: Which ones?

Boris Johnson: And I’m not going to go into all the details. But he had very strict conditions.

Andrew Marr: Do you know them?

Boris Johnson: I do. I’ve seen them. But let’s be frank. They were not, nothing that was capable of being done could have really changed the way he behaved.

Andrew Marr: You promised tough licence conditions on release.

Boris Johnson: Nothing could have changed the way he behaved. The problem was that this individual should have been in prison and there was no question.

Andrew Marr: Under the Conservatives. He was let out.

Boris Johnson: There was no question

Andrew Marr: Under the Conservatives he was let out.

Boris Johnson: Because of the changes

Andrew Marr: This was a Conservative decision

Boris Johnson: Because of changes to the law.

Andrew Marr: You’ve been in power for ten years.

Boris Johnson: Because of changes to the law that were brought in by the Labour Party. That I voted against you.

Andrew Marr: You were in power for ten years and you’ve done nothing about it for ten years.

Boris Johnson: Jeremy Corbyn voted in favour of.

Andrew Marr: For ten years you’ve done nothing about it.

Boris Johnson: He voted in favour of automatic early release.

Andrew Marr: For ten years you’ve done nothing about it.

Boris Johnson: You cannot retrospectively change the basis on which.

Andrew Marr: For ten years you have done nothing about it.

Boris Johnson: Sorry you cannot change the basis on which someone is sentenced. You are talking about Usman Khan, I am talking now about the future.

Andrew Marr: For ten years you have done nothing to change the system.

Boris Johnson: I am talking about the future.

Andrew Marr: Now you are saying, ‘ah now I will’.

Boris Johnson: I am talking about what we are going to do. I’ve been in office for 120 days. We’re going to bring in tougher sentences for serious sexual and violent offenders and for terrorists.

Andrew Marr: Let’s talk about your record.

Boris Johnson: We have put more money into counter terrorism.

Andrew Marr: Well let’s talk about your record.

Boris Johnson: That’s what we’re going to do.

Andrew Marr: The Chief Inspector.

Boris Johnson: I absolutely deplore the fact that this man was out on the streets. I think it’s absolutely repulsive and we are going to take action.

Andrew Marr: That repulsive thing happened under the Conservatives. It was Conservative legislation and a Conservative regime under which. Would you like to apologise to people for the fact that that happened?

Boris Johnson: I must respectfully repeat to you.

Andrew Marr: It happened under the Conservatives.

Boris Johnson: That his release was necessary under the law, because of the automatic early release scheme, under which he was sentenced. That was the reality. And that was brought in by Labour with the support of Jeremy Corbyn and the rest of the Labour Party.

Andrew Marr: Earlier this year

Boris Johnson: I opposed it both in 2003.

Andrew Marr: Earlier this year.

Boris Johnson: I opposed it both in 2003 and in 2008. And now that I am Prime Minister, I’m going to take steps to make sure that people are not released early.

Andrew Marr: OK. But I do need to ask you some more questions.

Boris Johnson: For serious violent, sexual or terrorist cases.

Andrew Marr: That’s the way it goes.

Andrew Marr: In 2019, the Chief Inspectorate of Probation said this of the probation service, again under the Conservatives, he said probation is not working as it should. It’s not delivering well enough for some of the most troubled and sometimes troublesome people in society when they and the wider public deserve better. Again, would you like to apologise for what’s happened to the probation service under the Conservatives?

Boris Johnson: Obviously I think we should be investing more in the criminal justice system, and I disagree by the way.

Andrew Marr: So, you made a mistake?

Boris Johnson: No.

Andrew Marr: As a government?

Boris Johnson: No, if you go back to the history of the last 10 years or so. Labour left the finances of this country in utter ribbons and in ruins. And we were, of course, responsible for governing since, I was mayor of London for most of that period. But the Conservative government, yes, of course, it governed sensibly and prudently. What we’re doing now under this new One Nation conservative administration. And we are investing

Andrew Marr: It’s a new administration is it?

Boris Johnson: Yes. And we are, it is.

Andrew Marr: This is really important.

Boris Johnson: It is new in our approach. And it’s new in the way we will tackle the issues of public service, we’re investing massively in the NHS.

Andrew Marr: You are asking for a fourth Conservative term.

Boris Johnson: We are investing massively in policing. Yes.

Andrew Marr: You can’t shrug off the record of the Conservatives as you do and say somebody else, not me.

Boris Johnson: No, of course not. But don’t forget, Labour said there’s no money left in 2010. They had a letter saying that they’d effectively bankrupted the economy. Now, after some prudent and sensible management of the economy, we are putting huge sums into our NHS, into policing, into tackling terror.

Andrew Marr: I want to ask about.

Boris Johnson: I disagree with Shami Chakrabarti.

Andrew Marr: I want to ask about.

Boris Johnson: And I disagree with Jeremy Corbyn.

Andrew Marr: I’m sure you do but let me ask you.

Boris Johnson: About these sentences I believe they deserve com dine punishment and that is what they will get.

Andrew Marr: Let me ask you about Mr Khan and what happens there. First of all, again, what are the conditions, people need to know, what are the conditions that he was obliged to?

Boris Johnson: Well there were various conditions under which he was obliged to. He had mentors. He had restrictions on his mobile phone, restrictions on Internet access and so on.

Andrew Marr: Not enough?

Boris Johnson: In my view, absolutely not. The key issue, Andrew, is that he was allowed out early.

Andrew Marr: How many other people are in the same situation?

Boris Johnson: He was allowed out early. And there was no, in this area it was very difficult. It has nothing to do with parole and has nothing to do with probation officer.

Andrew Marr: How many people are in the same position?

Boris Johnson: Legally there was no way of stopping him coming out early on the basis on which he was sentenced. As for your question about how many others there are, there are probably about 74.

Andrew Marr: Okay you are trying to avoid my question.

Boris Johnson: No, I’m not.

Andrew Marr: By carrying on talking.

Boris Johnson: No, I’m not.

Andrew Marr: Let me ask you again.

Boris Johnson: You said, ‘how many others?’ About 74.

Andrew Marr: Okay 74 other people. What are you doing about them now?

Boris Johnson: What we’re doing there is we’ve taken a lot of action, as you can imagine, in the last 48 hours to and I won’t go into the operational details

Andrew Marr: But giving people an indication.

Boris Johnson: I’m sure people can imagine what we’re doing to ensure that the 74 other individuals who’ve been let out early on the basis of this Labour changed legislation. They are being properly invigilated to ensure there is no threat.

Andrew Marr: So, when you heard this

Boris Johnson: And we took that action.

Andrew Marr: So, when you heard this, you were concerned that this kind of thing could happen again and again and again, given the number of people who are getting out now.

Boris Johnson: Well, I do think there is an issue, as I’ve said, about automatic early release. I think it’s wrong for serious sexual offenders. I think it’s wrong for violent offenders. I think it’s wrong for terrorists. And so, I disagree with Jeremy Corbyn and Shami Chakrabarti.

Andrew Marr: You said that

Boris Johnson: When it comes to having shorter sentences.

Andrew Marr: And you say this new regime. But it’s only happened in the last 48 hours. It’s not in the manifesto. It’s not something you were talking about before this happened.

Boris Johnson: Well

Andrew Marr: You’ve had 10 years in government to get this regime for violent criminal terrorists right. And as a government, you have patently failed.

Boris Johnson: We’ve obviously invested a great deal in counter-terrorism and in the spending review, we put another 160 million into counter-terrorism, we support MI5

Andrew Marr: Hasn’t worked though has it.

Boris Johnson: We support, and by the way Jeremy Corbyn

Andrew Marr: Hasn’t worked

Boris Johnson: Jeremy Corbyn has said he would disband MI5.

Andrew Marr: Has not worked.

Boris Johnson: Well, the reason this.

Andrew Marr: Let’s go back to your record then.

Boris Johnson: The reason

Andrew Marr: No, I’m sorry

Boris Johnson: The reason this gentleman was out on the streets, the reason this killer was out on the streets was because of automatic early release, which was brought in by a left-wing

Andrew Marr: Left wing, you had ten years in office to do something about it and you didn’t. Ten years.

Boris Johnson: But not in the case of this individual because after all, he had been sentenced. He’d been sentenced under the existing law in 2010. That was the reality. And you should you should acknowledge that.

Andrew Marr: Okay. Well, let’s look at what happened.

Boris Johnson: You can’t go back retrospectively.

Andrew Marr: Let’s look at what has happened to where he was in the past ten years, which is in the prison system.

Boris Johnson: Which he was

Andrew Marr: Which has been pretty much disastrous under the Conservatives. Let’s go through a few figures. Suicides under the Conservatives in the prison system up by 50 percent. Assaults on staff tripled in that period. Prisoner on prisoner assaults doubled.

Boris Johnson: And that is why this new Conservative administration, Andrew, is putting 2.5 billion pounds into our prison service.

Andrew Marr: It’s not a new Conservative administration.

Boris Johnson: It is.

Andrew Marr: This is the Conservative Party, which has been in power for ten years.

Boris Johnson: But we take a different approach.

Andrew Marr: So, it’s not the Conservative party that we look back at?

Boris Johnson: I’m a new prime minister. We take a different approach. We’re putting 2.5 billion pounds into our prisons. We want to have, unlike Shami Chakrabarti.

Andrew Marr: Pesky Tories doing all the stuff for the prison service then.

Boris Johnson: I’m trying to tell you what we are doing. We want to have an extra ten thousand places. And the reason that we are confident in our ability to do that is because we have a strong economy. We can manage the economy sensibly and we will not rack up public debt or take a sledgehammer to the resilience of the UK.

Andrew Marr: Do you know.

Boris Johnson: You know, the disaster that the Labour Party would be.

Andrew Marr: Do you know how many magistrates and crime courts you have closed as a party in the last ten years. Do you know how many have been closed in England and Wales?

Boris Johnson: We will be making investment

Andrew Marr: Do you know?

Boris Johnson: Into the Criminal justice system across the board.

Andrew Marr: Do you know how many?

Boris Johnson: I can’t give you the figures.

Andrew Marr: Okay, I will tell you, nearly three hundred magistrate and Crown Courts that you have closed as the Conservatives across the country, it is an astonishing record.

Boris Johnson: We of course understand.

Andrew Marr: Three hundred fewer courts.

Boris Johnson: Now is the time to make investments, not just in the NHS, not just in policing as we are doing, not just in the education service, but also in our criminal justice system.

Andrew Marr: Okay.

Boris Johnson: We’re putting more money into counter-terror. Jeremy Corbyn wants to scrap MI5.

Andrew Marr: If your record

Boris Johnson: MI5

Andrew Marr: No sorry, I’m not interested.

Boris Johnson: MI5

Andrew Marr: I’m not interested in Jeremy Corbyn, I am interested in you.

Boris Johnson: MI5 is responsible for keeping us safe.

Andrew Marr: I’m sorry, I’m interested in you.

Boris Johnson: MI5 monitors thousands of people such as Usman Khan.

Andrew Marr: Okay. I’m interested in you and your record. The record on prisons is appalling. You mentioned the NHS. You have again, a terrifyingly bad record on the NHS, the highest number of patients on waiting lists ever. The worst performance on record for treating people within 18 weeks. The worst A&E performance since targets began, missing targets again on cancer patients being seen. That is a terrible record.

Boris Johnson: The NHS is doing a fantastic job under terrific pressure and I do not for one minute deny.

Andrew Marr: All of those things are true are they not?

Boris Johnson: I do not for one minute deny the pressure that the NHS is under, but that is why we are so determined to make huge investments in the NHS. The largest, the largest.

Andrew Marr: But are you telling the truth about those measures?

Boris Johnson: The largest in living memory, 34 billion pounds. And you’re going to argue. And I know what you are going to say.

Andrew Marr: Nurses and hospitals, not true what you said before was it?

Boris Johnson: We’re upgrading 20 hospitals and building 40 new ones. And you are going to say, oh, well, it’s only six. Actually, that’s not true.

Andrew Marr: It’s seed money for business plans.

Boris Johnson: We are putting in the seed money for 40 new hospital.

Andrew Marr: Okay. The one thing we can all agree on.

Boris Johnson: Decisions taken by this government. There will be 40 more hospitals in 10 years time. I am immensely proud of that.

Andrew Marr: One thing we could all

Boris Johnson: This is part of huge investment for this country.

Andrew Marr: I’m sorry, I’m sorry for this. I’m sorry. But in terms of the misuse of language, one thing we can both agree on, I’m sure, is that seed money for a business plan is not a hospital.

Boris Johnson: Of course it’s not.

Andrew Marr: When you say I’m putting in a seed money for a business plan, that is not a hospital. Seed money for 36 business plans, is not 36 new hospitals.

Boris Johnson: Of course not Andrew, but you don’t commit seed money unless you have a convincing case and a rationale for building that hospital, unless you’re determined to go on and do it. And that is what we are going to do. And you mentioned 50,000 nurses.

Andrew Marr: Of which 19,000 are not new, agree?

Boris Johnson: Agreed, absolutely.

Andrew Marr: So, a mistake to say 50,000?

Boris Johnson: No because unless we put that investment in now, there would not be 50,000 more nurses because the 19,000 that you correctly identify would not be retained in the system. Now, all of this we want to get on and do, we have a fantastic agenda for this country.

Boris Johnson: I want to have.

Andrew Marr: Let me talk about your agenda.

Boris Johnson: I want to be investing in our NHS.

Andrew Marr: You said the NHS.

Boris Johnson: We are a very ambitious government.

Andrew Marr: You said the NHS was under huge pressure and that’s right.

Boris Johnson: It is.

Andrew Marr: And one of the reasons is the huge pressure of social care. Here’s what you said outside Downing Street, very, very soon after you first became Prime Minister. You said, my job is to protect you and your parents or grandparents from the fear of having to sell your home to pay for the costs of care.

Boris Johnson: Yes.

Andrew Marr: And so, I am announcing now on the steps of Downing Street that we will fix the crisis in social care, once and for all with a clear plan we have prepared. Where is that plan?

Boris Johnson: Yes. Well, I’ll tell you. First of all, we will fix the crisis in social care. You’re absolutely right that the interface between the NHS, who do an incredible job, and the social services and local councils is one of the most difficult areas of care.

Boris Johnson: So, what we’re doing is we’re investing with first of all this new government has put 1.5 billion into short term funding.

Andrew Marr: Yes, short term funding. That is not a plan.

Boris Johnson: But that’s great.

Andrew Marr: It’s not a plan. Short-term funding isn’t a plan.

Boris Johnson: Every year for the next five years, we’ll put an additional one billion in so that we can recruit the carers that we need so that local councils are helped. 1 billion pounds is useful. I accept that the full plan needs to be developed, Andrew.

Andrew Marr: And so when you say, you’ve got a plan. You hadn’t got a plan, had you?

Boris Johnson: Actually, I think there is an emerging national consensus about this and we are getting ready for, as it were, a Beveridge moment in our country where people understand that we do need as a nation to tackle this issue. And what we want to do is to reach across politics, to bring people together, to take the.

Andrew Marr: So, you want to go to the Labour party you accuse of being wild Marxists and get them to agree something with you?

Boris Johnson: Because I think on this issue.

Andrew Marr: You want to go to the Liberal Democrats who you don’t agree with about tax.

Boris Johnson: There are plenty of things we don’t agree about. But I think on this issue.

Andrew Marr: On this particular issue, they want to raise a penny on annual income tax.

Boris Johnson: I think on this issue, there is a growing national consensus and it will be important to work on that issue together. And what we will do is ensure we have no one who is forced to sell their home to pay for the cost of their care. And everybody will have dignity and security in their old age.

Andrew Marr: Those are great aspirations but they are not a plan.

Boris Johnson: And none of those.

Andrew Marr: You said you had a plan and you have not got a plan.

Boris Johnson: None of those things.

Andrew Marr: Let’s move on to something entirely different. You’re a man.

Boris Johnson: None of those things are achievable unless we get Brexit done and move this country forward and forgive me for.

Andrew Marr: You’re a man

Boris Johnson: Forgive me for repeating but it is true.

Andrew Marr: You are a man who enjoys, as everyone can hear right now, you’re a man who enjoys using words. You are a very literate man. You had wonderful libraries when you were growing up. Wonderful libraries at Eton and Oxford. Does the rest of the country deserve to have very good libraries as well?

Boris Johnson: It certainly does. And if I look at

Andrew Marr: So why have you closed 500 libraries around the country?

Boris Johnson: I’m afraid very often local authorities. Yes. We want to be spending more. We want to be supporting local authorities. But some local authorities have been able to manage their finances so as to open libraries. I give you the example of my own borough of Hillingdon in West London, where they opened libraries.

Andrew Marr: Nonetheless, around the country 500 libraries have gone

Boris Johnson: I accept

Andrew Marr: Because of a halving of the budgets for local authorities, five hundred.

Boris Johnson: I accept that and I love libraries and I want to see them properly used. They perform a fantastic variety of services for the community and they’re wonderful, wonderful places. I want to invest in libraries, but we can only do that when we get the economy really motoring.

Boris Johnson: And at the moment we have a huge drag anchor on this country, which is why we’re having this election, which is getting Brexit done

Andrew Marr:  I’m going to come on to Brexit in just a minute. But you voted for the freeze in in-work benefits. Now, partly as a result of that, there are more than four million children in this country living in poverty. Are you proud of that?

Boris Johnson: We’re ending that freeze, as you know.

Andrew Marr: So, you freeze it for 10 years. Now you say we should be grateful as it is ending.

Boris Johnson: Actually, there are 400,000 fewer children in poverty than there were in 2010. We are taking steps to alleviate poverty. The gap between rich and poor has actually diminished.

Boris Johnson: Andrew, I’m not going to hide it from you that this is something that I care about and want to see progress on.

Andrew Marr: Well, that’s why we need to see some progress after ten years.

Boris Johnson: That’s why we’re lifting the living wage by its biggest ever increase. That’s why we’re cutting taxes for people on low incomes.

Andrew Marr: After ten years of

Boris Johnson: And I know you don’t want me to talk about it but

Andrew Marr: Let’s come on to what you want

Boris Johnson: We have 12 days until a real risk.

Andrew Marr: Let’s come on to what you want to talk about which is Brexit.

Boris Johnson: We have 12 days until a real risk.

Andrew Marr: Well let’s come on to that.

Boris Johnson: The risk is you have a Corbyn-Sturgeon coalition that would put up taxes.

Andrew Marr: Sorry, please listen to my questions as we are talking about you

Boris Johnson: As they have admitted, putting up taxes on people with incomes as low as 20,000 pounds a year.

Andrew Marr: Can you try to listen to my questions.

Boris Johnson: Of course.

Andrew Marr: Because we are talking about you.

Boris Johnson: Yes.

Andrew Marr: And your government.

Boris Johnson: Yes.

Andrew Marr: On Brexit, will there be tariffs and checks on goods moving from Northern Ireland into Great Britain?

Boris Johnson: Absolutely not. Absolutely not.

Andrew Marr: That’s not what your Brexit secretary says. And he’s looked at the law and he says there will have to be checks.

Boris Johnson: No.

Andrew Marr: So Stephen Barclay is wrong about that?

Boris Johnson: The beauty of

Andrew Marr: Stephen Barclay is your Brexit secretary.

Boris Johnson: Yes.

Andrew Marr: He said the exit summary declarations will be required in terms of Northern Ireland and Great Britain.

Boris Johnson: There will be no tariffs.

Andrew Marr: He is wrong about that?

Boris Johnson: Absolutely no tariffs.

Andrew Marr: He is wrong about that?

Boris Johnson: There will be no tariffs and no checks. What we will ensure is that the whole of the UK, Northern Ireland and the rest of us, can come out.

Andrew Marr: We are talking about paperwork which is going to affect Northern Ireland both ways.

Boris Johnson: The advantage of Conservatives in this election is that, we have six hundred and thirty-five candidates who’ve all signed up and they haven’t been lobotomized Andrew, they’ve all signed up perfectly freely from all spectrums.

Andrew Marr: Behind your deal

Boris Johnson: A very, very good deal.

Andrew Marr: Behind your withdrawal agreement.

Boris Johnson: Which enables us to come out on January 31st

Andrew Marr: Okay let me ask you

Boris Johnson: It’s a great deal for our country. We want to get it done, if we can get in with a working majority.

Andrew Marr: I’m sorry let me ask you.

Boris Johnson: Of course.

Andrew Marr: If you don’t mind another question that would be very kind of you

Boris Johnson: Please.

Andrew Marr: In your withdrawal agreement, which you’ve negotiated, how many EU directives and regulations are going to apply to the people of Northern Ireland that don’t apply to the rest of us? How many?

Boris Johnson: That will be a matter for the people of Northern Ireland.

Andrew Marr: No, it is not, it is in your withdrawal agreement. It is in your withdrawal declaration.

Boris Johnson: As you know

Andrew Marr: Annex 2 and the number is 300 declarations and regulations apply to Northern Ireland and not the rest of us.

Boris Johnson: You are missing a point.

Andrew Marr: No I’m not.

Boris Johnson: Yes, you are.

Andrew Marr: It’s in your annex. It’s your document, not mine.

Boris Johnson: You’re missing a point. The point is that Northern Ireland and the  rest of the UK will be able to come out, do free trade deals, do things differently. We’ll have free ports in Northern Ireland, we will be able to cut VAT on sanitary products. All the advantages of Brexit will be there. Yes, for a period

Andrew Marr: Three hundred more regulations.

Boris Johnson: Northern Ireland can remain in alignment with the rest of the EU.

Andrew Marr: Under all those regulations.

Boris Johnson: If they choose to do so. If after four years the people of Northern Ireland decide that those regulations that you cite are not suitable for them, they automatically fall away. Do you understand the point?

Andrew Marr: No, I don’t really. Because for the lifetime of the next parliament we’re about to elect, there’ll be 300 regulations and directives from the EU which apply to Northern Ireland, which don’t apply to the rest of us. That is the truth and it’s going to affect Northern Ireland business and that is what we have got.

Boris Johnson: And if they don’t like it. If they don’t want to be in alignment, then they automatically fall away after four years, do you understand that bit?

Andrew Marr: Let me ask you about the overarching financial problem.

Boris Johnson: The reason for doing that

Andrew Marr: The overarching financial problem

Boris Johnson: The reason for doing that is so we

Andrew Marr: I’m sorry but you just keep going on and on and on. You’re chuntering. I need to ask you about the money.

Boris Johnson: You’re interrupting if I may say so.

Andrew Marr: The money is

Boris Johnson: I think people might be quite interested in my answers as well of your questions but go on.

Andrew Marr: The promise is, that you’ve given, is there will be no rises in taxes for most people under the Conservatives. And you’re not going to increase borrowing under the Conservatives, but you are going to spend money in specific areas such as policing and the NHS that you’ve described. The problem is if there is any slight bump or hesitation in growth during the lifetime of the next Conservative government, you are scuppered. You can’t spend more plans. And therefore, for an awful lot of people who are dependent on public services, voting Conservative might be too much of a risk.

Boris Johnson: No. We’ve made it very clear that we’re making record investments in the NHS. 34 billion pounds, the NHS budget will go up by about a third between 2018 and 2023.

Andrew Marr: Yes, but what about the sums?

Boris Johnson: I think I’ve explained the nurses and of course the sums will add up. If you look at our budget, at our manifesto, it is fully costed. I must draw.

Andrew Marr: Let me look at that

Boris Johnson: Can I?

Andrew Marr: I’m sorry. Let me look

Boris Johnson: Can I draw with the situation with Labour

Andrew Marr: No you can’t.

Boris Johnson: The situation with our manifesto and the Labour manifesto

Andrew Marr: No, you absolutely can’t because I need to ask about you and your views. You have said that it would be one bounce and you are out on Islamophobia in the Conservative Party. Your candidate, Karl McCartney, an election candidate, has had multiple retweets of Tommy Robinson. He’s still inside the Conservative Party. Your candidate, Anthony Browne, has suggested Muslim leaders at the time of Iraq had divided loyalties, he is still inside. Not many bounces. They’re still inside the Conservative party.

Boris Johnson: Well there is an independent process which needs to consider all such accusations of prejudice of any kind and we’re ruthless about that. And if people are convicted, then they’re out. And we’re very, very clear about that.

Boris Johnson: What we are

Andrew Marr: The reason

Boris Johnson: What we are

Andrew Marr: The reason that they may be

Boris Johnson: What we are also having is a general inquiry into prejudice of all kinds within the Conservative party. And I must say that I think there is a very sharp, distinction.

Andrew Marr: Let me talk about prejudice

Boris Johnson: Between what we are doing and what Labour has failed to do.

Andrew Marr: Let me let me talk about

Boris Johnson: In tackling antisemitism

Andrew Marr: There was a prominent Conservative

Boris Johnson: When are you going to let me finish an answer by the way?

Andrew Marr: When you give me an answer.

Boris Johnson: I have given you

Andrew Marr: Right, there is a prominent Conservative who said to any non-Muslim reader of the Qur’an, Islamophobia, fear of Islam, seems a natural reaction. And it is exactly what that text is intended to provoke, judged purely on its scripture, to say nothing of what is preached in the mosque, it is the most viciously sectarian of all religions and its heartlessness towards unbelievers. That was Boris Johnson. Do you stand by that?

Boris Johnson: Look, people are always going to drag out bits and pieces that I’ve written over the years in order to distract from the fundamental issues at this election. I have a record of campaigning against prejudice of all kinds. Indeed, I’m proud to say my great grandfather knew the Qur’an by heart. And I’m not going to. What we do in our Conservative party is refuse to allow people to get away with prejudice and discrimination. What I think the people of this country want to know. And if you will, let me answer, make some points rather than.

Andrew Marr: Quickly.

Boris Johnson: What people in this country want to know is what is our programme for government? Our programme for government is to get this country

Andrew Marr: Alright you are going into a speech

Boris Johnson: Get Brexit done and take this country forward.

Andrew Marr: You’re going into a speech and I’m trying to avoid the speeches.

Andrew Marr: Can I ask you about something else? Why are you avoiding being interviewed by Andrew Neil?

Boris Johnson: Because I think we’ve got a perfectly brilliant Andrew here.

Andrew Marr: You’re absolutely right. But it’s a different audience. I am doing on this programme interviews with all the party leaders, including yourself. Andrew Neil is trying to do interviews with all the party leaders in an evening slot with a different audience. Everybody else has done it. Why won’t you?

Boris Johnson: He couldn’t have a more brilliant agent, if I may say so, than you but if you really want to.

Andrew Marr: It would be

Boris Johnson: I think what the people of this country want to know is what is.

Andrew Marr: It would be graceful.

Boris Johnson: They want to know, what is our programme for government.

Andrew Marr: It would be graceful if you were to say now I will do an Andrew Neil interview.

Boris Johnson: I’m perfectly happy to be interviewed by any interviewer called Andrew from the BBC. And we will

Andrew Marr: Are you going to be meeting Donald Trump this week?

Boris Johnson: We will make sure that, and by the way I’ve done interviews on

Andrew Marr: Are you going to be meeting Donald Trump this week?

Boris Johnson: I’ve done interviews, I did a two-hour long phone interview, I’ve done TV debates. No previous Prime Minister has

Andrew Marr: Are you going to be meeting Donald Trump this week?

Boris Johnson: Has done one on one TV debates.

Andrew Marr: Are you going to be meeting Donald Trump this week?

Boris Johnson: I am, of course I am going to meet the President of the United States, he’s coming to the NATO summit.

Andrew Marr: Are you worried that he’s going to say something embarrassing?

Boris Johnson: Look, I’m very pleased.

Andrew Marr: We are out of time

Boris Johnson: I’m very pleased that we have great relations with the United States.

Andrew Marr: We could talk for hours, but we are out of time.

Andrew Marr: Thanks for all my guests this week.

Boris Johnson: Unlike Jeremy Corbyn and the Labour Party, who would abandon Nato. We want to strengthen our defence.

Andrew Marr: Prime Minister, we’re out of time. Thank you so much for talking to us.

Boris Johnson: Thank you very much.


See also

Show comments
Close