01:21 GMT +312 November 2019
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    Conservative MP and leadership contender Boris Johnson holds up kipper fish in plastic packaging as he speaks at the final Conservative Party leadership election hustings in London, on July 17, 2019

    'Red Herring': BoJo Electrifies Twitter by Waving Smoked Kipper in Rebuff to ‘Brussels Bureaucrats’

    © AFP 2019 / TOLGA AKMEN
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    A former Foreign Secretary and ex-Mayor of London, Johnson is the presumed frontrunner to replace outgoing Prime Minister Theresa May, who was forced to step down after failing to deliver on a Brexit deal. The 55-year-old is currently vying with Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt for the top job, with a new British PM due to be announced on 23 July.

    UK prime ministerial hopeful Boris Johnson brandished smoked fish as he pointed the finger at what he slammed as EU bureaucracy during final leg of his leadership campaign on Wednesday.

    Waving the plastic-wrapped fish, he told the audience of Tory members, “I want you to consider this kipper”.

    It “has been presented to me just now by the editor of a national newspaper, who received it from a kipper smoker in the Isle of Man who is utterly furious because, after decades of sending kippers like this through the post, he has had his costs massively increased by Brussels bureaucrats who have insisted that each kipper must be accompanied by a plastic ice pillow”, Johnson said.

    He described the demand as “pointless, expensive, [and] environmentally-damaging health and safety”.

    Johnson also pledged that when the UK exits from the EU, “we will not only be able to take back control of our regulatory framework and end this damaging regulatory overkill, but we will also be able to do things to boost Britain’s economy, which leads the worlds in so many sectors”.

    Most Twitter users immediately made fun of Johnson’s remarks, pointing to the fact that the Isle of Man is neither in the UK nor in the EU.

    “What HAS Boris been smoking? Lately, it's kippers”, one user wondered in his Twitter post, while another described the whole think as a “red herring” and “pointless posturing from Boris Johnson”.

    During the hustings, the 55-year-old drew applause from the audience after he described himself as “absolutely“ a feminist.

    “A feminist is somebody who believes fundamentally in the equality of human beings and the equality of the sexes. That’s what I believe”, Johnson pointed out.

    He is now competing with Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt for the premiership, in the wake of Theresa May’s move to resign following her failure to resolve the Brexit gridlock. A new British PM is due to be announced on 23 July.


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