Belfast Telegraph

Watch: Boris Johnson admits he makes models of Wrightbus buses to relax

Tory leadership candidate Boris Johnson said he builds them from old wine boxes.

Boris Johnson at Wrightbus in Ballymena in 2016 as DUP leader Arlene Foster looks on
Boris Johnson at Wrightbus in Ballymena in 2016 as DUP leader Arlene Foster looks on

Boris Johnson, the frontrunner to become the next prime minister, has said he makes models of Wrightbus buses out of old wine crates to relax.

The former mayor of London, whose term in office included the introduction of the new “Boris bus” to the capital’s streets, said he liked to unwind by painting passengers enjoying themselves on his model vehicles. 

'Boris buses' became synonymous with Mr Johnson during his term as mayor, and they were famously made by Northern Ireland company Wrightbus.

The Ballymena based company produced the 'New Routemaster' buses between 2011 and 2017.

In late 2016 current London Mayor Sadiq Khan announced the city would not be placing any further orders for the buses as a cost cutting measure.

“I like to paint or I make things,” the Tory leadership candidate told TalkRadio on Tuesday.

“I get old wooden crates, right? And I paint them.

“I suppose it’s a box that’s been used to contain two wine bottles.

“It will have a dividing thing, and I turn it into a bus and I put passengers…

“I paint the passengers enjoying themselves on the wonderful bus. Low carbon, of a kind that we brought to the streets of London that reduces CO2, reduces nitrous oxide, reducing pollution.”

Boris Johnson on a bus (Stefan Rousseau/PA)
Boris Johnson on a bus (Stefan Rousseau/PA)

Mr Johnson’s meandering explanation provoked discussion and a little confusion on social media.

A clip of the BBC news presenter Simon McCoy reacting to his comments was particularly popular with Twitter users.

“Wonder what he writes on the side of it,” the newsreader said – a reference to the infamous £350 million figure on the side of a campaign bus during the EU referendum.

Conservative MP Sir Nicholas Soames responded by suggesting Mr Johnson should have stuck with the famous “fields of wheat” line, which Theresa May once offered as the “naughtiest” thing she did as a child.

Sir Nicholas, the grandson of Mr Johnson’s political hero Sir Winston Churchill, tweeted: “#stickwithwheatfieldsifiwasyou”

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