That time Boris Johnson attacked the Miliband brothers for political family feud

PUBLISHED: 13:50 05 September 2019

Boris Johnson once said

Boris Johnson once said "only a socialist" could consider backstabbing his brother, in comments aimed at the Miliband feud. Pictures: PA

PA

As his brother Jo abandons his cabinet, it has emerged that Boris Johnson once gave an interview attacking Ed and David Miliband for a family feud, saying "only lefties think like that".

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In an interview with an Australian paper, the future prime minister said in 2013 that only a "socialist" who regarded family as "trivial" would act as the Milibands had done.

He said at the time that he felt Jo would become prime minister before he did, and that he would never "shaft" Jo to get there first.

As things turned out, Boris did get there first, and appointed Jo to his cabinet, only to have Jo stand down saying he could not reconcile "family loyalty with the national interest".

READ: Boris Johnson abandoned by his own brother as Jo quits cabinet and his seat

The comments about the Milibands that have now come back to haunt the prime minister came in 2013, where they were repeated in the Evening Standard after Jo had been named head of policy at Number 10.

This prompted comparison to the acrimonious leadership race two years earlier between Labour party MPs and brothers Ed and David Miliband.

Asked by the paper if he and Jo were similar to David and Ed, Boris said: "We don't do things that way, that's a very leftwing thing.

"Only a socialist could do that to his brother, only a socialist could regard familial ties as being so trivial as to shaft his own brother.

"I mean, unbelievable. Only lefties can think like that ... they see people as discrete agents devoid of ties to society or to each other, and that's how Stalin could murder 20 million people."

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