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Regional editor slams Boris Johnson for ‘making clowns of us all’

An editor has claimed Boris Johnson “made clowns of all of us” as his newspaper dubbed the departing Prime Minister “worst among equals” on its front page.

Marc Waddington has criticised Mr Johnson in a lengthy editorial for Stoke-on-Trent daily the Sentinel after he confirmed his forthcoming departure from Downing Street yesterday.

On its front page this morning, pictured below, The Sentinel welcomed the end of “the sorry Johnson saga” and proclaimed that “Britain deserves a PM it can trust”.

In his editorial, Marc described Mr Johnson’s demise as an “ignominious, and fitting, end to his political life” after more than 50 members of his Government resigned in protest at his leadership.

Gone Stoke

Marc wrote: “The clues, the warning signs, have been there for many years. His adultery – cheating on his wife while she was battling cancer being one of the particular lowlights – and his consistent lying; his awful comments about the Hillsborough disaster; the infamous ‘letter box’ jibe at Muslim women, the references to African people as ‘piccaninnies with watermelon smiles’.

“Whether his transgressions were in his personal, journalistic, or earlier political life, they all made one thing patently clear: the man lacked the moral fibre for the job he so coveted. In fact, he lacked the moral fibre for pretty much any role he has ever had.

“What is most staggering is that we as a country, armed with all this knowledge, were willing to trust him, or at least give him the benefit of the doubt; as though someone who has failed so many times to do the right thing and to behave like a decent human being, would somehow transform into a paragon of probity and decency once invested with huge power and responsibility. It was never going to happen.

“And it didn’t. And in that respect, the joker has made clowns of all of us.

“Any one of the scandals in the long litany of those that have dogged his time in Number 10 would, in the past, have been the undoing of any principled politician.

“They would probably also have been the undoing of many unprincipled politicians, too. But not in these times, for some reason. It seems we live in some sort of post-truth, post-moral era.

“In politics, personal responsibility seems to have been supplanted by self-belief. As long as you believe you are doing the right thing – or just say you are – then that’s OK.”

Stoke is now home to three Tory MPs, but as recently as 2017 all of its constituencies had been held by Labour.

Meanwhile, Yorkshire Post editor James Mitchinson has beaten a prediction by Lord Daniel Moylan that Mr Johnson would outlast his editorship of the Leeds-based daily.

The Tory peer had claimed last month Mr Johnson would still be in Number 10 “long after” James had ceased to edit the Post.

Posting on Twitter yesterday, James wrote: “Daniel, how would you like to settle this?” In a follow-up post, he revealed he will now have the original tweet “framed and hung on the toilet door”.

Here is how the YP itself covered Johnson’s downfall together with a selection of other regional press front pages.



Herald front
National front