Andrea Leadsom clashes with Dr Shola over Boris Johnson
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Andrea Leadsom backed Boris Johnson following his calamitous speech at the CBI annual conference where he made car noises, lost his place in his notes and discussed in length his love of Peppa Pig. Ms Leadsom agreed Mr Johnson was “one of the world’s great communicators” which saw fellow panellist Dr Shola scoff and being told off for “blaspheming” after she exclaimed “Jesus lord”. An annoyed Dr Shola clashed with Ms Leadsom over her comments as the Tory MP doubled-down on her defence of Mr Johnson.
Speaking on LBC, Ms Leadsom appeared on Iain Dale’s Cross Question with the panel discussing Mr Johnson’s speech to the CBI.
Ms Leadsom downplayed the severity of the speech and simply said the Prime Minister was having an “off day”.
She explained: “I absolutely don’t agree with Shola that every time he says anything it’s a disaster that is simply not true.
“He is exactly… one of the world’s great communicators…”
Dr Shola exclaimed “Jesus lord” as she could not believe what she was hearing but host Dale intervened and said some listeners had complained about her blaspheming.
Ms Leadson also found it offensive and wanted Dr Shola to stop.
The activist replied: “I am not blaspheming, but I take the point, I think it is an overstretch to call him one of the world’s greatest communicators – he is not.”
Ms Leadsom added: “I’ll accept the fact that you don’t agree, I think he is a superb communicator.
Boris Johnson mixes up his notes in CBI keynote speech
“I also think he’s an incredibly smart guy and everybody knows, exactly as you say Shola, he can be disorganised.
“He was clearly having an off day and lost his place in his speech and it’s not such a huge deal.
“I mean, he was making what was a very valid point about British creativity, he was saying that a statist approach would not come up with something as amazing as Peppa Pig who looks like a giant pink hairdryer.”
Ms Leadsom said she liked Peppa Pig and that her husband could do a good impression of Daddy Pig.
Cabinet ministers and other prominent Tory members have come out to defend Mr Johnson amid his CBI speech with Deputy Prime Minister Dominic Raab also stating it was a good speech on British creativity.
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However, during his media round appearance on BBC Breakfast, host Jon Kay put to him that he and his Tory colleagues would not let their political opponents hear the end of it if they made a speech like the Prime Minister.
Mr Raab bluntly replied: “I ignore Keir Starmer every day of the week because they don’t have anything serious to say about credible alternatives to the agenda, economic transport, criminal justice that we’ve set out.”
Despite the defence, reports suggest around a dozen disgruntled Tory MPs have written to the 1922 Committee demanding Mr Johnson step down from his position.
Conservative MPs can trigger a leadership challenge if 15 percent of them put their disapproval of the Prime Minister in writing to the 1922 Committee.
It means 54 MPs would need to put forward a no-confidence vote.
One senior Tory MP told The Sun: “He is like Jose Mourinho – he was good a decade ago and his powers have been fading ever since.
“Yes he won an election, but a bowl of soup could have beaten Jeremy Corbyn.
“There is real anger. He has until Spring to get back on track or he will be in real trouble.
“Letters have gone in. I am on the cusp myself.”
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