'Nobody's perfect': Rachel Johnson's fiery clash with a caller over personal attacks on the PM

2 May 2022, 22:44 | Updated: 2 May 2022, 22:45

By Emma Soteriou

This is the moment Rachel Johnson had a fiery clash with a caller over the personal attacks Boris Johnson faces from opposition parties during PMQs.

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It came as Rachel discussed whether Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer could win over voters as Tony Blair did with New Labour.

Speaking to an earlier caller about Labour's approach to PMQs as opposed to the Tories, Rachel said: "What I will say to you is something that may explain why you don't get the same degree of ad hominem attack from the Tory frontbench and particularly from this Prime Minister.

"We were brought up by my mother and her mantra to us was: 'It's nice to be important but it's more important to be nice.'

"And I really think that this is something that he has taken to heart. It's just not within him to be unpleasant."

Caller Chris in Richmond said: "Rachel, honestly, I can't believe what you've been talking about for the last few minutes. Have you actually read some of the pieces your brother wrote?"

"No, no, no, no," said Rachel. "Sorry Chris, stop right there."

"That was 15 years ago... that wasn't launching into an aggressive, unpleasant, personal attack at the opposition leader."

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Chris then went on to list previous comments reportedly made by Mr Johnson, including women wearing the burka looking like bank robbers.

Rachel hit back: "I wasn't talking about that, Chris, I was talking about personal attacks to your opposite number on the opposite bench."

Chris said: "But you were trying to claim he's a very nice man."

"Well I happen to think he is quite nice - nobody's perfect," said Rachel.

Rachel went on to say: "You've repeated ancient tropes that he wrote in columns-"

"But he's never apologised for them has he? That's the point," Chris said.

It came after Rachel spoke to a caller who sympathised with Mr Johnson and the way he was treated during PMQs.

"I actually like Boris and he's actually quite polite," said Deena from St John's Wood.

"I think he's taken it incredibly well and it should stop because it's not doing anybody any favours - not Boris, not the country and not Keir Starmer."