Gordon Brown takes swipe at Boris Johnson in Latin for ‘evading responsibility’ over Brexit

Former Labour prime minister Gordon Brown on Good News Britain; GMB, Twitter

Former Labour prime minister Gordon Brown on Good News Britain; GMB, Twitter - Credit: Archant

Gordon Brown has accused Boris Johnson of 'evading responsibility' over the recent Brexit fiasco in a slight against the prime minister and his knowledge of Latin.

Brown, a former Labour prime minister, said Johnson knew Latin well but failed to comprehend the meaning of the term 'mea culpa', which translate to 'my fault' in English.

Brown told Good Morning Britain's Ben Shephard and Kate Garraway Johnson's Brexit bill was a 'mistake'.

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'I think it's a mistake. A prime minister is there to be criticised for getting things wrong particularly if you have so many U-turns,' Brown said.

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Chuckling mid-specch, he added: 'The funny thing about Boris Johnson is it's his favourite to talk about Latin words but there are two he doesn't seem to know - mea culpa.'

Brown then took a swipe at Boris Johnson and Tory MPs for deliberately avoiding the morning show, adding: 'He's got to take some responsibility and he's got to talk to the people of this country directly by answering question put by people as good as you and Kate.'

'Well, that's a good endorsement,' Garraway chimed in.

The show has not seen Johnson or a Tory appear for 136 days, prompting co-host Piers Morgan to brand the PM a 'gutless weasel' live on air.

The comments come as veteran Brexiteers call on Boris Johnson to abandon new legislation that would override key aspects of the Withdrawal Agreement.

Former Tory leader Lord Michael Howard said Johnson had 'no mandate from the British people to break treaties' and backed an amendment by fellow Tory MPs to curb the power given to ministers in relation to the Agreement.

ERG chair and ardent Brexiteer Bernard Jenkin also expressed concern about the prime minister's plan.

'The prime minister should be more mindful of the reputational damage of playing such hardball when there's really no consensus from the country to go about breaking international agreements,' he told LBC radio.

Margaret Thatcher's former Chancellor, Lord Norman Lamont, has also weighed into the debate, warning Johnson the bill would not get through the Lords in its present form.

The prime minister has set a deadline of October 15 for a Brexit agreement to be reached, otherwise he has said he will simply walk away from the negotiating table.

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