Boris Johnson mocked by own sister over English language claim
The Tory leadership frontrunner said he was concerned there were parts of the country were English was not people’s first language.
Boris Johnson has been mocked by his sister Rachel after claiming “too often” English was not being spoken as a first language.
Author and journalist Rachel Johnson said she did not know what her brother was talking about, because “we spoke ancient Greek at home”.
The would-be prime minister’s comments were aimed at immigrants, saying he wanted them to “feel British” and learn English.
We spoke Ancient Greek at home I genuinely don’t know what he’s on about— Rachel Johnson (@RachelSJohnson) July 6, 2019
But he had already been criticised by Welsh and Gaelic-speaking politicians for his remarks before his sister’s intervention.
Ms Johnson tweeted: “We spoke Ancient Greek at home I genuinely don’t know what he’s on about.”
The Tory leadership hopeful made the remarks at a hustings in Darlington on Friday.
Boris is just moronic & clueless— Angus B MacNeil MP (@AngusMacNeilSNP) July 5, 2019
Same arrogance of centuries past that did down native Celtic languages for the Germanic import.
Multilingualism please Boris and drop the cultural imperialism. https://t.co/zE8TtlLfUa
He said: “I want everybody who comes here and makes their lives here to be and to feel British, that’s the most important thing, and to learn English.
“And too often there are parts of our country, and parts of London still and other cities as well, where English is not spoken by some people as their first language, and that needs to be changed and people need to be allowed to take part in the economy and in society in the way that that shared experience would allow.”
Gaelic-speaking SNP MP Angus MacNeil said on Twitter: “Boris is just moronic and clueless.”
At the leadership hustings in Cardiff on Friday evening, Mr Johnson denied insulting Welsh-speaking communities and said he wanted them to speak English “as well” as their first language.
He said: “I love Welsh. I once gave a whole speech in Welsh.
“(Welsh speakers) should learn to speak English as well.
“But I’m very keen we should get up to our target of a million Welsh speakers.”