Sunday, 3 Mar 2024

Boris Johnson mocks David Cameron's return to frontline politics

Boris Johnson mocks David Cameron’s return to frontline politics as ‘great news for retreads everywhere’

  •  The Foreign Secretary recently heaped praise on his fellow Old Etonian

Boris Johnson has mocked David Cameron’s return to government as ‘great news for retreads everywhere’.

In a thinly veiled swipe at the recently-appointed Foreign Secretary, Mr Johnson suggested Lord Cameron was a prime example of ‘nails peeling out of the coffin lids’ across the world.

The former prime minister – who has been commissioned to write a book on Shakespeare – went on to quote a famous line from Hamlet about the ‘sheeted dead… squeaking and gibbering in the streets’.

It is a stark contrast to Lord Cameron’s own assessment of Mr Johnson. The Foreign Secretary recently heaped praise on his fellow Old Etonian for his ardent support for Ukraine since the Russian invasion.

But speaking to estate agents in Ontario, Canada, Mr Johnson said: ‘Look, I think it’s great news for retreads everywhere.

The new Foreign Secretary appeared to offer an olive branch to Boris Johnson when he visited Ukraine last month

Boris Johnson has mocked David Cameron’s return to government as ‘great news for retreads’

‘Across the political landscape, the nails are peeling out of the coffin lids. And the sheeted dead are wandering and gibbering in the streets.’

The original line in Hamlet, spoken by Horatio, refers to the myth that the dead rose from their graves and ran through the streets of Rome before Julius Caesar was assassinated.

READ MORE – The unlikely comeback of David Cameron marks extraordinary return to front line for the hoodie-hugging former PM and architect of the Brexit referendum who became mired in a lobbying row 

Mr Johnson, now a Daily Mail columnist, also weighed in further on the conflict between Israel and Gaza – one of Lord Cameron’s key responsibilities in his early months in government – by suggesting it was important to maintain ‘moral clarity’ about Hamas’ October 7 attack.

‘There is a difference, in my view, between the terrorist attacks of Hamas militias, which were brutal – and the rape and the torture and the murders – these were indiscriminate attempts to cause massive human suffering and degradation,’ he said.

Though Mr Johnson served on Lord Cameron’s frontbench when the latter was Leader of the Opposition, the two have not seen eye to eye on many occasions since their Eton days.

The most visible split came during the Brexit referendum, when Mr Johnson backed Leave while Lord Cameron led the campaign for Remain.

However, the new Foreign Secretary appeared to offer an olive branch to Mr Johnson when he visited Ukraine last month.

‘I had some disagreements with Boris Johnson, he was my friend for 40 years, but his support for you was the finest thing that he introduced,’ he told President Volodymyr Zelenskyy.

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