Boris Johnson has yet again been criticised after comments were unearthed where he claimed that children in low-income families with working mothers were more likely to ‘mug you on the street corner’.
In the 2006 book Have I Got Views For You, written before Johnson became mayor of London, Johnson said that women had been “socially gestapoed into the workplace”.
He wrote: “In the last 30 years an ever-growing proportion of British women have been ‘incentivised’ or socially gestapoed into the workplace, on what seems to me to be the dubious assumption that the harder a woman works the happier she will be, when I am not sure that is true of women or anyone else”.
Johnson said that female graduates were increasingly pairing up with male graduates, which he called “assortative mating”, when they go on to pool their advantages.
He continued: “The result is that in families on lower incomes the women have absolutely no choice but to work, often with adverse consequences for family life and society as a whole – in that unloved and undisciplined children are more likely to become hoodies, NEETs [not in education, employment or training] and mug you on the street corner.”
Labour criticised the remarks, the latest in a string of unearthed comments, which they say shows how “out of touch he is”.
Angela Rayner, a working mother and the shadow education secretary, said: “It is obvious that Boris Johnson has nothing but contempt for women and working-class people.
“For him to speak about us in such a disgusting manner shows just how out of touch he is. It is clear he only ever stands up for the privileged few.”
He said in a Spectator column in 1995 that the children of single mothers were “ill-raised, ignorant, aggressive and illegitimate … who in theory will be paying for our pensions”.