The Beast of Brexit
A new edition of Boris Johnson: The Beast of Brexit is published today. The late Heathcote Williams composed his ‘study in depravity’ more than three years ago, when Johnson was still mayor of London: before the 2016 EU referendum, before Johnson’s careless talk condemned Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe to an Iranian jail cell, before the police were called to a domestic dispute at his girlfriend’s flat, before he said his hobby was making model buses out of old wine boxes, before he became prime minister. But Williams’s portrait is as true a likeness of its subject now as it was then.
Drawing on biographies by Sonia Purnell and Andrew Gimson, a great many newspaper articles, and Johnson’s own journalism and TV appearances, Williams assembles a blistering charge sheet: climate change denial, dishonesty, hypocrisy, incompetence, racism, violence, ‘remorseless self-promotion’, ‘a ruthless and often cruel ambition together with an elitism and a ferocious temper when challenged’.