Rachel Johnson says her brother's language over Brexit is 'tasteless' and 'highly reprehensible'

PUBLISHED: 13:20 26 September 2019 | UPDATED: 18:55 26 September 2019

Rachel Johnson criticises the prime minister's language during an appearance on Sky News' The Pledge. Photograph: Sky.

Rachel Johnson criticises the prime minister's language during an appearance on Sky News' The Pledge. Photograph: Sky.

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Boris Johnson's sister has called the language used by the prime minister about Brexit 'tasteless' and 'highly reprehensible'.

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Speaking on Sky News' The Pledge, Rachel Johnson said that it was "particularly tasteless" to claim that the "best way" to "honour" Jo Cox was to deliver in Brexit.

She said: "I think it was particularly tasteless for those who are grieving a mother, MP and friend to say the best way to honour her memory is to deliver the thing she and her family campaigned against - Brexit.

"It was a very tasteless way of referring to the memory of a murdered MP, who was murdered by someone who said 'Britain first', obviously of the far right tendency, which is being whipped up by this sort of language."

She also said that Boris Johnson's comments on Brexit were "highly reprehensible".

"A lot of this language was initiated in the tabloids, because we had [headlines] like 'crush the saboteurs', we had the judiciary and remain MPs being 'enemies of the people', words like collaborationist, betrayal.

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"My brother is using words like 'surrender' and 'capitulation' as if the people standing in the way of the blessed will of the people, as defined by the 17.4 million votes in 2016, should be hung, drawn, quartered, tarred, and feathered.

"I think that is highly reprehensible."

Answering questions on Radio 4's World At One she gave her view on who could be behind the "strategy" to "whip up" support.

"It could be (senior aide) Dominic Cummings advising the prime minister to be extremely aggressive and to face down opposition from all sides of the establishment in order to secure his position as the tribune of the people.

"It could be coming from my brother himself, he obviously thoroughly enjoys being prime monister.

"It also could be from - who knows - people who have invested billions in shorting the pound or shorting the country in the expectation of a no-deal Brexit.

"We don't know."

Johnson could have been referring to Crispin Odey, Johnson's billionaire backer, who has strong views on what the prime minister needs to do to get Brexit passed.

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