Boris Johnson has slammed the BBC for “conditioning” Brits with “gloom” and “negativity” about Brexit and insisted “we can do it”.
The current front runner to replace Theresa May as prime minister also said he hopes to sort Brexit and unite the country.
Johnson was being quizzed by the BBC’s Andrew Neil as part of the race to become Tory leader[/caption]
Johnson was being quizzed by the BBC’s Andrew Neil as part of the race to become the next Tory leader.
Responding to a question from Neil that referred to the job of securing a next Brexit deal as “mission impossible”, Johnson said: “Can I just say I just do think that that sort of BBC-generated gloom and negativity has helped to condition the mindset.”
“Seriously, Andrew, people in this country feel they’ve been told for three years that they are incapable of leaving the EU and their politicians simply can’t do it.
“My message to the people of this country is that we can do it, we were mandated to do it.
“And then there are all sorts of ways in which we need to unite the country.”
Elsewhere in the interview, Neil questioned the strength of Johnson’s plans for a no-deal Brexit.
JOHNSON A ‘FACTOR’ IN SIR KIM RESIGNATION
Johnson also conceded for the first time that he had been in part to blame for the resignation of Sir Kim Darroch, the UK’s outgoing ambassador to the United States.
Sir Kim announced that he was standing down after memos he had sent calling the Trump administration “inept”, “chaotic”, and “dysfunctional”.
Johnson said Sir Kim made the decision after hearing Johnson had declined to support him in a televised debate with leadership rival Jeremy Hunt.
He also revealed he spoke to the ambassador the day after the resignation had been announced.
“He said that what somebody had relayed to him had certainly been a factor in his resignation,” Johnson said.
“I think that unfortunately what I said on that TV debate was misrepresented to Kim.”
Jeremy Hunt backed Sir Kim in Tuesday night’s debate when Johnson refused to guarantee he would keep him on in Washington.
In his own interview with Neil, Hunt said Johnson’s performance has been “one of the factors” in Sir Kim’s departure.
He added: “I think it’s a great shame because I need as foreign secretary our ambassadors to be able to tell me as foreign secretary exactly what’s going on in their countries, exactly what they think.
“And I think they need to know that we’re going to stand behind them.”
He also said he could not guarantee Britain would leave the EU by 2020.
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Asked if Brexit will happen by Christmas, he replied: “I expect so.”
He added: “I think I’m the best person to get a deal… but I can’t control what Parliament does.”
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