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Brexfactor: Boris Johnson exposed once more as a liar and a liability

PA Wire/PA Images - Credit: PA Wire/PA Images

We pick out the most wrong and unstable Leavers of the week

10) Aidan Powlesland

The UKIP candidate for South Suffolk launched his election campaign by calling on the government to develop interstellar travel and begin fracking in the asteroid belt for ‘water and/or platinum’ by 2026. Powlesland also hinted that Paul Nuttall could one day captain a rocket full of right-thinking Kippers to the stars and beyond, like some bald and tweedy version of Hugo Drax in Moonraker. He said: ‘People left to set up new colonies in America because they did not want to be governed by the constraints in their homelands. I think the same thing could happen in space in the future.’

Sadly Grand Moff Powlesland did not claim that he or any other UKIP candidate would win seats at the general election, because that would have been ridiculous.

9) Paul Dacre and Tony Gallagher

On the day even the loony lefties at the Daily Telegraph made Theresa May’s U-turn their front page lead, EU subsidy recipient Dacre and fellow Brexiteer Gallagher pulled police tape around the Tory manifesto shambles and told readers ‘nothing to see here’.

Dacre’s Daily Mail led by rehashing a Guardian story about Facebook – not even water cooler talk around Mark Zuckerberg’s water cooler – and Gallagher’s Sun with a random slur against Jeremy Corbyn. Both had no qualms about insulting the intelligence of their readers (add your own punchlines here).

Just everyday back-scratching for the Tories or something to do with the editors’ failure to spot the dementia tax bombshell hiding in plain sight within the pages of May’s uncosted but costly brainfart, instead lauding the manifesto with headlines like ‘Blue Labour: Bold PM bid to win over socialist voters’ (Sun) and the now-notorious ‘At last, a PM not afraid to be honest with you’ (Mail).

8) Nigel Farage

‘I never U-turned during the 2015 election, when I was criticised I doubled down,’ walking Freddo bar Farage told LBC listeners. That’s somewhat different to what we remember about UKIP’s shifting targets for an annual net migration limit to the UK.

First it was 50,000, but in early March the then-UKIP leader decided he’d had enough of ‘arbitrary targets which only result in broken promises’. By March 31 he wanted ‘a return to about a net 30,000 people a year coming into this country’. So, no U-turn for Nigel; but rather a U-turn on a U-turn. Beat that, Theresa!

7) Paddy Singh

‘I’ve never been racist… I did not mean to cause any offence or be racist,’ explained the former UKIP candidate for North Wiltshire after his party withdrew their support.

Tough to square that one up with social media messages he sent calling Israelis ‘typical present day Nazis’ and ‘Nazi Jews like wild dogs on a rampage’. Or others in which he appears to be working on some kind of catchphrase: ‘Africa is where humans are animals and animals human’; ‘China maybe a super power but they are like animals’ and ‘is Pakistan a country occupied by humans or animals?’

Paddy, it might have gone down a storm at Bernard Manning’s Embassy Club back in the 1970s but I wouldn’t open with it now.

6) UKIP Press Department

Hard to say what was more enjoyable from the crack Kipper PR team this week – the release asking ‘ethnic minorities voters’ to register to vote so they could cast their ballots for UKIP or the woefully misspelled release attacking Labour’s Keir Starmer – or, as they called him, ‘Kier Starmer, the Labvour Brexit spokesman’.

Like a Lynne Truss nightmare, it quoted justice spokesman Peter Jewell claiming that ‘the Labour party is following the Tory’s’ and that ‘very few of the politician’s have had proper jobs’. True, but they’ve probably worked how to use the spelling and grammar check on their word processing software…

5) Theresa May

Doing her level best to lose an unloseable election, the woman who puts the PM in ‘Pitiful Manifesto’ went full Hodor during an interview with Andrew Neil. Some derivation of needing ‘a strong hand during Brexit negotiations’ turned out to be the answer to virtually every question, be it about the uncosted manifesto, a potential rise in National Insurance or extra funding for the NHS.

This might be reasonably effective as an election tactic but no-one’s going to want her on their team at the next Central Office quiz night.

4) Paul Nuttall

A sensational performance for UKIP’s supremo on Channel 5’s version of the Championship highlights show, a leaders’ debate without Theresa May and Jeremy Corbyn. Not only did he twice call Plaid Cymru’s Leanne Wood ‘Natalie’, but Paul also managed to deny saying Britain could be like Norway after Brexit.

How much simpler life would be for Nuttall if the internet didn’t exist! Then we’d never have been able to call up his Tweet from January of last year which read ‘Norway is a success and we can be too’! Or visit his website, on which Paul writes ‘countries like Norway and Switzerland thrive outside of the EU, and so can we!’

Never mind. Only another couple of weeks until Paul’s work here is done and he can retire into obscurity, content to look back on those movies he made with Leanne Wood during his days as Hollywood’s go-to leading man – Bob & Carol & Ted & Alice & Paul, The Great Race (The White Race) and Rebel Without A Clue.

3) Catherine Blaiklock

In a new twist on the ‘some of my best friends are black’ routine, UKIP’s candidate in Great Yarmouth took a large photo of her Jamaican husband to election hustings in an attempt to prove that the party is not racist.

The guesthouse owner told Vice: ‘There are millions of people who voted out and are not racist, including myself – I sleep with somebody who is black, who is, you know, of Jamaican origin…. we have Jewish people, all sorts of races, who want to be out.’

2) Katie Hopkins

‘People have rung my bosses on the radio demanding I am sacked for my tweets because my divisiveness is what ISIS wants,’ moaned humanoid hatebot Hopkins in her Mail Online column about the Manchester attacks. Well, perhaps, but it’s probably more likely that they rung her bosses to complain she’d tweeted ‘we need a final solution’ and later called on ‘Western Men’ to ‘rise up’.

Just how low do you have to go to be sacked by the Mail and LBC? Sadly, we’ll probably never find out…

1) Boris Johnson

Another week in the slow death of the Foreign Secretary’s career; another week in which he was exposed as both liar and liability.

Though some found his cribbing of Robert Peston’s interview notes a hoot and his mention of alcohol while speaking in a Sikh temple a wizard jape, considerably less amusing was his bare-faced fib to Peston that the Tory manifesto had echoed the Leave campaign’s promise to give £350 million a week to the NHS after Brexit. The presenter called him out on it, as hecklers have done across the land since the morning of June 24 2016.

Fittingly for a man whose voluminous pants are clearly on fire, each public appearance is now a Cersei-style walk of shame for Boris, with an angry confrontation in Cornwall just the latest indignity for a man whose lustre has gone but whose bluster remains.

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