“I don’t know what quotation he’s alluding to”

Boris Johnson, House of Commons

January 18, 2022

Facts

In the House of Commons, former Brexit secretary David Davis called for Boris Johnson’s resignation, quoting pre-war conservative MP Leo Amery. Mr Davis said: “I expect my leaders to shoulder the responsibility for the actions they take. Yesterday, he did the opposite of that. So I will remind him of a quotation altogether too familiar to him of Leo Amery to Neville Chamberlain: ‘You have sat there too long for all the good you have done, in the name of God, go!’” 

This quote was pivotal in the political career of Winston Churchill - as the day after Mr Amery said this to Neville Chamberlain, Chamberlain resigned from office - to be replaced by Churchill. 

Mr Johnson denied recognising the quote. He said: “I don’t know what he’s talking about. I don’t know what quotation he’s alluding to, but what I can tell him and I think I’ve told this House repeatedly throughout this pandemic [is] I take full responsibility for everything done in this Government and throughout the pandemic.”

Verdict

It is inconceivable that Mr Johnson would not have recognised the quote. It is one of the famous quotes in British history, and Johnson has written a biography of Winston Churchill, who came to power in the aftermath of Leo Amery’s remark.

We approached Mr Johnson’s office, the Cabinet Office and the No 10 Press Office to give him a chance to comment, but received no response. 

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