A Tory peer claims the outgoing PM used colorful language to describe his tenure at the Foreign Office
Acting British Prime Minister Boris Johnson once described his job as foreign secretary – the post he held from 2016 to 2018 – as “imprisoned in a steel condom.” Baroness Davidson, a former Scottish Tory leader and no friend of Johnson, revealed the sassy turn of phrase in an LBC interview.
Ruth Davidson resigned as leader of the Scottish Conservatives in 2019, shortly after Johnson became Prime Minister, and has been critical of him ever since. She later became Baroness of Lundin Links in the County of Fife and currently sits in the House of Lords as a peer for life.
Asked about anecdotes about Johnson during an LBC show at the Edinburgh Fringe festival, Davidson recalled a reference to his tenure as head of the Foreign Office.
“He once described being Foreign Minister to me as being locked in a steel condom,” she told LBC’s Iain Dale. “I thought it was weird because I didn’t ask him. I think he was talking about the amount of attention he got from the officials to make sure he didn’t say anything. “Imprisoned in a steel condom”, is what he said.
“I never heard that as a phrase,” Davidson added. “It would definitely affect performance, but that’s not my area of expertise, as I think you’ve already covered.” Davidson came out as a lesbian in 2015.
Dale replied saying he was “pretty surprised that Boris Johnson knows what a condom is” in an apparent reference to the PM fathering seven children, two of them with his current wife.
Johnson, a former journalist and mayor of London, served as foreign secretary in Theresa May’s cabinet on a salary of £145,000 ($175,000) a year. He quit in July 2018 and worked behind the scenes to oust May. Last month he resigned as Conservative leader amid widespread rebellion within his cabinet, remaining caretaker prime minister until a new party leader is elected.
The two remaining candidates to replace him are former Chancellor of the Exchequer Rishi Sunak and Foreign Secretary Liz Truss – who has yet to comment on Johnson’s description of his job.