Boris Johnson refuses to deny snorting cocaine in Tory leadership launch fiasco

Boris Johnson today REFUSED to deny snorting cocaine as he dodged a litany of questions at his Tory leadership launch.

The frontrunner finally faced press questions after emerging from his bunker vowing to end the Brexit misery by Halloween.

But he waffled for 20 minutes when confronted with his history of lies, offence and whether the UK could trust him.

The man who wants to be Prime Minister also gave a half-hearted apology for insulting Muslim women – but immediately vowed to do it again if needed.

He was told by a journalist he'd "brought shame on your party" by branding veiled Muslim women letterboxes and bank robbers – to boos from his backers.

He admitted: “Occasionally some plaster comes off the ceiling as a result of a phrase I may have used.”

He added: "Of course I’m sorry for the offence I’ve caused – but I will continue to speak as directly as I can."

Mr Johnson took just six questions from the press despite a litany of questions outstanding over his record.

And he avoided giving a straight answer to nearly every question – instead lecturing journalists with waffle and colourful rhetoric.

Mr Johnson would not deny whether he snorted cocaine aged 19 after he gave conflicting accounts about the incident.

He said: "I think the canonical account of this event which happened when I was 19 has appeared many many times.

"I think what most people in this country want us in this campaign to focus on is what we can do for them and our plans for this great country of ours."

Asked if he'd ever broken the law he said "I cannot swear that I have always observed the top speed of 70mph in this country" – before waffling off topic.

He also waffled around the question of whether he will resign if he fails to make Brexit happen as promised on October 31.

And he squirmed as he was asked whether "f*** business" – a remark he infamously made behind closed doors – would become government policy.

He said: "If you look at my record as a campaigner, as a politician, I don’t think there’s anybody in the modern Conservative party who’s done more to stick up for business even in the toughest of times."

BBC political editor Laura Kuenssberg told  Mr Johnson he had "offended people at home and abroad" and had a "reputation for being cavalier with vital detail".

She asked: "If you want to be prime minister can the country trust you?"

"Yes of course!" he replied.

And he joked she had made a "great minestrone of observations" and rejected the "one crouton" that he was inconsistent over his pledge to leave on October 31.

Polling for the Daily Telegraph has suggested the Tories would win an election with Mr Johnson as leader.

But last night his rival Rory Stewart asked Brits to think carefully if they wanted him in charge of nuclear weapons.

Mr Johnson endangered jailed mum Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe in Iran, called black people "piccaninnies" , rugby tackled a 10-year-old boy on a business trip, accused the President of Turkey of defiling a goat, called Barack Obama "part-Kenyan", said a Libyan city would be great once they "clear the dead bodies away", and boasted about whisky tariffs at a Sikh Temple .

He was also sacked from the Tory frontbench in 2004 over claims he lied about an affair and sacked from the Times as a young journalist for making up a quote. He joked about gay people as "tank-topped bum boys" and mocked Muslim women as "letterboxes", and he has questions to answer over his conflicting accounts of whether he ever took cocaine.

Yet in his speech today, Mr Johnson said: "To sum up my mission in a sentence: what I want to do now, with your help, is to do for the whole country what we did in London – releasing the creative energies of our country and its people and healing its divisions.

"We can fight for the teachers, and the nurses and the firemen, and the armed service personnel, and the police, precisely because we are willing to encourage the tech wizards and the shopkeepers and the taxi drivers and, yes, the bankers as well."

In his long-awaited speech in central London, which he left for accompanied by his younger lover Carrie Symonds, Mr Johnson vowed again to leave the EU on October 31, deal or no deal, and "unite society".

"Now is the time to remember our duty to the people and the reasons for the Brexit vote," he said.

"After three years and two missed deadlines, we must leave the EU on October 31."

Yet he also claimed he was "not aiming for a no deal outcome" and doesn't think the UK will end up with it – even if it is a "vital tool for negotiation".

Vowing to renegotiate with the EU, he said: "We must do better than the current Withdrawal Agreement that has been neglected three times by Parliament."

Mr Johnson acknowledged the massive opposition of MPs – who are paving the way TODAY to block a no-deal outcome.

MPs also fear Labour will force a no-confidence vote and a general election if Mr Johnson pushes for no deal.

The Tory frontrunner said: "We cannot ignore the morass of Westminster, where parties have entered a yellow box junction unable to move forward or back.

"The longer it goes on the worse the risk there will be serious contamination and a real loss of confidence because the people of this country deserve better of their leaders."

He said the British people want "revolution", adding: "We are somehow achieving Grand Prix speeds but without firing on all cylinders."

Yet for all the florid language his speech was light on any detail of policy.

And it made no mention of his pledge to massively cut Income Tax for people earning over £50,000 by raising the 40p threshold to £80,000 a year.

He told cheering Tory backers he could repeat the electoral success he saw as London mayor, adding: “Delay means defeat.

 Delay means Corbyn.

"Kick the can and we kick the bucket.

"With every week and month that goes by in which we fail to deliver on our promise, I am afraid we will further alienate not just our natural supporters but anyone who believes that politicians should deliver on their promises."

When challenged by a reporter about past comments, including saying Muslim women wearing burkas "look like letter boxes", Mr Johnson said: "I want to make a general point about the way I do things and the language I use.

"Occasionally some plaster comes off the ceiling as a result of a phrase I may have used, or the way that phrase has been wrenched out of context by those who wish for reasons of their own to caricature.

"But I think it's vital for us as politicians to remember that one of the reasons that the public feels alienated now from us all as a breed, is because too often they feel that we are muffling and veiling our language, not speaking as we find – covering everything up in bureaucratic platitudes, when what they want to hear is what we genuinely think."

Attorney General Geoffrey Cox introduced Mr Johnson – slamming Theresa May just months after he introduced the lame duck PM at Tory conference.

"A managerial and bureaucratic approach to politics will not suffice," the booming-voiced lawyer declared.

But Labour MP David Lammy said: "Boris Johnson says with a straight face he will 'unite this country and unite this society'.

"The same man who described black people as 'piccaninnies', mocked Muslim women as 'bank robbers' and peddled lies throughout the referendum.

"Britain deserves so much better than this."

Tory MPs will begin whittling candidates down to two tomorrow before a vote by 160,000 party members to find the next Prime Minister.

Source: Read Full Article