7 times Boris Johnson revealed his sexist views

Throughout his career, Boris Johnson has developed a reputation for being less than respectful in the way he speaks (or writes) about women.

Now, as he faces a general election campaigning against a strong leader and feminist, Jo Swinson, we look back at just a few of the times Boris has shown how he really feels about women.

1. Revealing insults of choice

Earlier this year, Johnson made headlines after redacted documents released to courts in Edinburgh and London revealed some choice words about former Prime Minister David Cameron. While the original phrase was redacted, a full copy of the paper was leaked to Sky News, reading: “The whole September session is a rigmarole introduced by girly swot Cameron to show the public that MPs were earning their crust.”

“The whole September session is a rigmarole introduced by girly swot Cameron to show the public that MPs were earning their crust.”

2. Purile election promises

The desperation was palpable during Boris’s campaign to become the Conservative MP for Henley in the 2005 general election. In a bid to win over supporters, he promised that voting Tory will cause your wife to have bigger breasts’. Somehow, I can’t quite picture that painted across the side of a campaign bus.

3. Creepy comments about female athletes

In the summer of 2012, London was riding high as hosts of the Olympic Games. As Mayor of London, Johnson had so many exciting things to talk about – from Team GB winning 65 medals to the brief Spice Girls reunion at the Closing Ceremony. Instead, Boris decided to voice his thoughts on the professional volleyball players, saying: “As I write these words there are semi-naked women playing beach volleyball in the middle of the Horse Guards Parade immortalised by Canaletto… They are glistening like wet otters and the water is splashing off the brims of the spectators’ sou’westers.”

“As I write these words there are semi-naked women playing beach volleyball in the middle of the Horse Guards Parade.”

4. The infamous letterbox column

Given his above feelings towards women’s clothing, of course Johnson had to share his wildly offensive views on burkas. Writing in the Daily Telegraph last August, he said: “I would… say that it is absolutely ridiculous that people should choose to go around looking like letterboxes.”

His comments were widely criticised by Muslim women across the UK, but despite having many opportunities to apologise for his comments, Boris never has.

5. Attacking Trump’s opponent

Despite the fact that the Prime Minister is clearly a big fan of Donald Trump and his authoritarian values, he clearly doesn’t feel the same way about 2016 presidential candidate Hillary Clinton.

Back in 2007, Boris compared Hillary to ‘a sadistic nurse in a mental hospital’ in a column for the Telegraph. He went on to claim that she carried out her role as First Lady like ‘Lady Macbeth, stamping her heel, bawling out subordinates and frisbeeing ashtrays at her erring husband’. Seems like Johnson isn’t a fan of women with power.

Johnson has previously compared Hillary Clinton to ‘a sadistic nurse in a mental hospital’.

6. Backwards marriage views

Johnson gave us a peek into his regressive views on marriage in March last year, when he referred to the very well-known MP Emily Thornberry as Lady Nugee. While using Emily’s husband’s surname to address her is hardly his worst crime, it’s a great example of how stuck in the past our Prime Minister is.

7. Disgraceful voting record on abortion

While it’s easy to disregard Boris Johnson’s comments about women as stupid, it’s important to remember that his beliefs have an impact on our country.

As an MP, he has always abstained from Westminster votes on abortion, including those related to Northern Ireland, where abortion was only decriminalised in October 2019.

Sadly, it seems the Boris Johnson doesn’t have that much respect for women. But luckily for us, we have the chance to elect a Prime Minister who truly believes in equality (and the fact that she’s a woman is just a bonus!)

If you need a palette cleanser after reading this, check out the Liberal Democrats’ Plan for the Future – where, with Jo Swinson as PM, we can build a brighter future.

Stopping Brexit and keeping our family of nations together

Today, Jo Swinson is taking her Leader’s Tour of the UK to Scotland to say loud and clear that the Liberal Democrats will protect Scotland’s place at the heart of the EU and in the UK.

A vote for the Liberal Democrats is a vote to stop Brexit and keep Scotland in the UK. At this general election we’re offering voters a real way to stop the chaos.

“The four nations of the United Kingdom are stronger when they work together so we should work together to stop Brexit.”

On day one, a Lib Dem majority government will stop Brexit so that we can focus on tackling the big issues facing the UK right now. We will use the £50 billion Remain Bonus to invest in our public services and tackling inequality.

Once we stop Brexit, we can build a brighter future; one that includes our whole United Kingdom.

The Liberal Democrats will stop another independence referendum in Scotland and stop the division, chaos, new borders and economic cost that independence would cause.

Learn more about our Plan for the Future here.

Why Jo Swinson must be our next Prime Minister

The Liberal Democrats are surging across the UK in the last 6 months. We’ve won 700 new council seats and 14 brilliant new MEPs – our best election results ever.

People are tired of the same backwards-looking offers from the Conservative and Labour parties. Whether it’s the days of the empire or 1970s socialism, Boris Johnson and Jeremy Corbyn want to take our country backwards.

But it doesn’t have to be this way. With Jo Swinson as PM, we can build the country we want to be. Where every single person and community is valued, empowered and cared for, and where we protect our planet for future generations. Here is our plan for the future:

Boris Johnson and Jeremy Corbyn want to take our country backwards.

Stop Brexit

Whether Labour or Conservative, Brexit would be devastating for our economy, society and NHS. The Liberal Democrats are the biggest stop Brexit party – and Prime Minister Jo Swinson will revoke Article 50 on Day 1.

£50 billion Remain bonus for our public services

Leaving the EU would cut economic growth meaning less cash for our struggling public services. Stopping Brexit means we’ll have more money to invest in schools and tackle inequality.

80% of all electricity generated by renewables by 2030

The climate emergency is the biggest challenge facing us and we have real plans to tackle it. We’ll insulate all low-income homes by 2025, cutting bills for the less well-off, and rapidly expand renewable power.

Hire an extra 20,000 teachers as part of £10 billion more for education every year

Education is central to our plan. Every child deserves the best start in life. The Conservatives have not funded our schools properly, with headteachers forced to cut staff and ask parents for money.

We must invest for our children, our future. Prime Minister Swinson will prioritise school funding to give every child the best opportunities to thrive.

The climate emergency is the biggest challenge facing us and we have real plans to tackle it.

Free childcare from 9 months

Childcare is a major expense for families who are working hard to build a good life. With a Liberal Democrat government, we’ll provide free childcare, helping to build a stronger, fairer society.

Treat mental health with the same urgency as physical health

People struggling with their mental health still get a poor deal from our cash-strapped NHS. Waiting lists for therapy can be up to a year. In government, we’ll provide the funding needed to tackle this crisis head-on, as a matter of urgency.

She’s the one to lead us to a brighter future

Only the Liberal Democrats can keep our family of nations together, with our support for remaining in the EU and opposition to Scottish independence. The policies of the Tories and Labour both threaten the union of the United Kingdom.

This General Election campaign is a chance to reject old, divisive politics. It’s a chance to deliver seismic change – and that starts by making Jo Swinson Prime Minister.

Take the first step to a brighter future. Say you’re with Jo now:

I’m with Jo

Unite to Remain agreement

As you will know, our Party has long been recognised as the UK’s lead Party of Remain.

Recently we have been working with the independent “Unite to Remain” campaign to maximise the number of Remain MPs elected in this snap General Election.

Unite to Remain is made up of the 3 parties committed unequivocally to the cause of Remain: The Liberal Democrats, Plaid Cymru and the Greens. It’s really disappointing that Labour would not step up too, but they are simply not a Party of Remain.

We have collectively reached a set of agreements to further the Remain cause and are announcing the details today.

In short, 60 constituencies in England and Wales are involved. Plaid and/or Greens will stand down in our favour in 43 seats, and we will stand down for them in 17.

The full details were announced this morning in a Unite to Remain press conference and can be found here:

We (and the Green party) are standing aside for Plaid Cymru in the following Welsh seats:

Arfon (Held)

Dwyfor Meirionnydd (Held)

Carmarthen East and Dinefwr (Held)

Ynys Mon




We (and Plaid Cymru) are standing aside for the Green party in the following Welsh seat:

Vale of Glamorgan

We are standing aside for the Green party in the following English seats:

Brighton Pavilion (Held)

Isle of Wight

Bury St Edmunds

Bristol West


Dulwich & West Norwood

Cannock Chase


Forest of Dean

Plaid Cymru and the Green party are standing aside for us in the following Welsh seats:

Brecon & Radnorshire (Held)

Cardiff Central


The Green party are standing aside for us in the following English seats:

Bath (Held)

North Norfolk (Held)

Oxford West & Abingdon (Held)

South Cambridgeshire (Held)

Totnes (Held)

Twickenham (Held)

Westmorland & Lonsdale (Held)

Bermondsey & Old Southwark




Chelsea & Fulham



Esher & Walton

Finchley & Golders Green



Hazel Grove

Hitchin & Harpenden

North Cornwall

Penistone & Stocksbridge

Portsmouth South

Richmond Park

Romsey & Southampton North


South East Cambridgeshire

South West Surrey


Taunton Deane

Thornbury & Yate

Tunbridge Wells


Warrington South






York Outer

This a bold move by all concerned for the cause of Remain, and the choices involved have been hard ones.

No decisions have been taken lightly, and we owe a debt of gratitude to the candidates and local parties who have taken the principled and generous decisions to step aside at this election.

If you live in a seat where we have agreed to step aside, it is your choice whether you would prefer to help that Unite to Remain backed candidate, or to visit another nearby Liberal Democrat campaign.

We will be in touch again soon to let you know of key campaigning opportunities near to you.

If you are in a seat where Plaid Cymru or the Greens have stepped aside for us, please do thank them, in public and private and welcome any of their volunteers who want to help your campaign.

This worked very well in the Brecon and Radnorshire by-election.

I know that agreements like these will always cause concern and court controversy.

But Brexit is a crisis for our country, and extraordinary times need extraordinary measures.

This set of agreements gives us the best chance of maximising our number of MPs and of electing other Remain voices in the next Parliament.

Together we can stop Brexit.

Part Three of our Plan for the Future

The UK should be leading the world on tackling the environment crisis. Our planet is on the brink of being irreparably damaged and we are responsible for that damage.

The climate emergency is real and our planet is heating to unsustainable levels. Young people have taken to the streets because they’re so worried that the Conservatives are failing to act.

This climate catastrophe will create huge global inequalities and we have a moral duty to protect the future; that’s why, as part of our Plan for the Future, the Liberal Democrats have set out ambitious plans to tackle the climate emergency by generating 80% of electricity from renewables by 2030 and insulating all low-income homes by 2025.

“Every vote for the Liberal Democrats is a vote for a Prime Minister that will deliver a bold green plan and a brighter future.”

As one of the party’s key priorities, a Liberal Democrat government will raise the energy efficiency standards for new homes, as well as investing £15 billion over the next Parliament to retrofit 26 million homes. This would save the average household £550 a year on energy bills.

We are the only party dedicated to building a brighter future by tackling the environmental crises with urgent actions. We are the only party with a bold, credible and detailed plan to tackle the climate emergency as soon as possible, to put climate action at the heart of our government, and to reverse the damage we’re doing to our planet.

The Liberal Democrats will take bold action to tackle the climate emergency and build a brighter future.

Learn more about our Plan for the Future here.

Part Two of our Plan for the Future

The NHS is the envy of the world, but our mental health service is not. Waiting times are being missed, people are not being referred for the treatment they need, and often action is taken only when at ‘crisis’ point, or too late.

That’s why the Liberal Democrats are dedicated to transforming mental health services by treating them with the same urgency as physical health.

“We want to break down the barriers of stigma and shame, which leave those suffering, alienated and isolated, and we want to make the UK a world leader in keeping our nation well with our push for greater emphasis on wellbeing.”

As part of our Plan for the Future, a Liberal Democrat government will invest £11 billion into mental health services such as:

  • child and adolescent mental health,
  • matching waiting time standards to those in physical health,
  • and expanding our mental health workforce

Approximately one in four people in the UK will experience a mental health problem each year. For too many, treatment is a postcode lottery; with waiting times for psychological therapy varying from 16 days in Waltham Forest, to 176 days in Leicester.

Making mental health services accessible to all is fundamental, and no one should be forced to travel unreasonable distances away from home. By prioritising young people coming out of care, and supporting students from school through to colleges and universities, it is possible to ensure that no one will have to travel out of area for all but the most specialist mental health services.

By putting a penny in the pound on income tax and ringfencing £11 billion in funding for mental health, the Liberal Democrats will provide real parity between mental and physical health care. We want to make prescriptions for people with chronic mental health conditions available for free on the NHS, as is the case for conditions such as cancer and diabetes.

Brexit, either carried out by the Conservative or Labour Party, will put the NHS at risk. Our commitment will ensure it is kept safe and out of the hands of Donald Trump.

The Liberal Democrats’ Plan for the Future aims to build a brighter future for our country. Learn more here.

Part One of our Plan for the Future

Today, we’re kicking off the Liberal Democrats’ Plan for the Future.

At our general election campaign launch, leader Jo Swinson has declared that a Liberal Democrat government will Stop Brexit and use the £50 billion Remain Bonus to invest in public services and tackle inequality.

This £50 billion injection to the areas that need it most can only be delivered by a Lib Dem government – we are the only party standing up to stop Brexit.

“Every vote for the Liberal Democrats is a vote to stop Brexit, build a brighter future and invest the £50bn Remain bonus in our vital public services.”

With Jo Swinson as Prime Minister, we will reverse the drastic cuts to public services that the Conservative government have made and continue to lead from within the EU.

Boris Johnson and the Conservative party have caused a national crisis with Brexit; he has lied to the Queen, he’s lied to Parliament and he’s lied to the country to push his bad Brexit deal. Together, we can stop him, stop Brexit and build a brighter future.

We will be announcing more of the Liberal Democrats’ Plan for the Future soon. Sign up now to be the first to hear.

Help get Jo in the ITV debate

I am livid.

It is unbelievable that the two Brexiteer leaders of the two old stale parties will be debating the politics of the past, meanwhile Jo Swinson the one leader who unequivocally represents remainers and wants to debate how we build a brighter future is left out of the conversation.

The leader of the strongest party of Remain demanding a People’s Vote deserves to be heard. You’ve already taken the first step towards making sure they#DebateHer.

Can you do three more things to help us make this happen?

1. Tweet ITV

Just click the link below, we’ve already prepared a tweet for you, but you can customise it with your own message before you send it.

Tweet ITV ➜

2. Email ITV

ITV have a dedicated complaints email – and we want them to know exactly how disappointed we all are with this decision.

We’ve prepared an email for you and if you click the button below, it should be ready to send. If that doesn’t work, we’ve included the text at the bottom of the email, and you just need to send it to viewerservices@itv.com

Email ITV ➜

3. Send ITV a Facebook message

You can also send ITV a message on Facebook, just click the link below to get started – and use the text at the end of this article:

Message ITV ➜

Thanks for everything you’re doing to build a brighter future.

Message to send to ITV:

Dear ITV, I am very disappointed by the line-up for your first televised debate.

It’s simply not good enough to shut out the only female candidate for Prime Minister and the only remain voice from the debate.

By making this decision you are leaving 16m remainers unrepresented in the debate.

Please reverse this decision immediately and invite Jo Swinson to the debate.

Best wishes,

Read Sal Brinton’s letter to the Chief Executive of ITV

Dear Dame Carolyn

I am extremely disappointed that ITV are planning to exclude the Liberal Democrats from your General Election debate on 19th November.

Corbyn and Johnson both are pursuing Brexit and represent the two tired establishment parties. A debate between just them offers no real alternative and stifles the conversation.

The voters of this country deserve to hear from a Remainer on the debate stage, not just from the two men who want to deliver Brexit

The voters of this country deserve to hear from a Remainer on the debate stage, not just from the two men who want to deliver Brexit. They deserve to know that there is another way. That there is a Party they can vote for who will offer a real alternative. That the Liberal Democrats will stop Brexit and build a brighter future.

There is no reasonable justification for excluding Liberal Democrats from the debate. Liberal Democrats are the strongest national Party of Remain. We secured more votes than both Labour and the Conservatives in the European elections earlier this year and have enjoyed fantastic local and byelection successes across the country. We no longer live in a two-party system, as polling for the last six months demonstrates, and the media should keep up. We have a hung Parliament and the Liberal Democrats are polling very close to, and sometimes ahead of, the Labour Party. Failing to have Liberal Democrats in the debate is misrepresenting the current political reality.

As you will know, section 6.2 of the Ofcom Broadcasting Code states that “due weight must be given to the coverage of parties and independent candidates during the election period” and “broadcasters must take into account evidence of past electoral support and/or current support”. Crucially, candidates with “significant views and perspectives” should receive appropriate coverage; with Brexit a key issue in this election and our recent electoral successes the Liberal Democrats clearly deserve equal treatment.

Boris Johnson and Jeremy Corbyn are running scared of debating Jo Swinson and broadcasters shouldn’t help them stitch up the debates

Boris Johnson and Jeremy Corbyn are running scared of debating Jo Swinson and broadcasters shouldn’t help them stitch up the debates. The importance of representation cannot be underestimated. I want women and girls watching to see Jo Swinson in the debate and know that they too could be a candidate for Prime Minister. That women’s voices are vital in politics. That our politics is so much poorer without them. We have seen an exodus of women from politics in the run up to this election. I want to do everything in my power to end this. I’m urging you to do the same.

Please, ensure that there is a plurality of voices in the debate, ensure that the biggest Remain Party is represented, ensure that Jo Swinson is up on the debate stage with Corbyn and Johnson.

Yours sincerely

Sal Brinton

President of the Liberal Democrats

Do you agree with Sal? Sign our petition to get Jo onto the ITV leader’s debate

Sign now

Antoinette Sandbach joins the Liberal Democrats

Brexit has fundamentally rewritten the structure and shape of our politics.

As the chief architect of Brexit, it has warped the values and principles of the Conservative Party most of all. It is therefore inevitable that politicians and the public take stock and look at the parties they support and assess whether they are fit for purpose.

I came into politics to fight for a one-nation, pragmatic and centrist Government.

When I was elected, I wanted to push for action to tackle climate change, protect our NHS and improve education.

However, as I have sat on the Government benches in the House of Commons I have worked with those across the House who share these values and throughout this process one party has been stalwart in defending and promoting them, with a clear message of remain.

That is why after several months of consideration and discussion I have decided to join the only party that represents the values that I hold dear, the Liberal Democrats.

I have also seen on the ground in my constituency the impact that policies the Liberal Democrats introduced during the coalition have had on Cheshire.

I have seen how the Lib Dem’s pupil premium has put thousands extra into schools in Winsford and elsewhere in South Cheshire and narrowed the gap between rich and poor.

I have seen how Lib Dem policies to protect community assets like pubs and post offices have taken root and how much of a difference their plans for treating mental health equally to physical health could help people in Cheshire.

Beyond Cheshire, the Lib Dems are the only party who take climate change seriously.

Their proposals for new energy efficient homes, investment in solar and protections for our countryside are things I’ve been arguing for since before I was elected.

This has been a journey over the last few months, but as the kaleidoscope of politics has been shaken by the referendum, not only have the Conservative Party made clear there is no place for people like me, the Liberal Democrats have made clear their values best reflect my moderate, centre-ground politics.

That there is now only one choice of party for a brighter future and moderate, forward looking Government and that party is the Liberal Democrats.