David Cameron, the former British prime minister who was responsible for calling the 2016 Brexit referendum, is not mincing words in his criticism of the current occupant of 10 Downing Street.
Boris Johnson is a “liar” who only advocated for leaving the European Union to benefit his own political aspirations, Cameron said in his new memoir, “For the Record,” excerpts of which were published in the latest issue of the U.K.’s Sunday Times.
Johnson’s concerns about British sovereignty were “secondary to another concern for Boris: what was the best outcome for him,” Cameron wrote, adding that Johnson had not really believed in the benefits of Brexit but took a risk “because it would help his political career.”
Cameron also accused Johnson, a fellow Conservative and former classmate, of leaving “the truth at home” during the Vote Leave campaign.
He said Johnson ― along with other “Leave” advocates ― had pushed a racist narrative to gain support, specifically in their focus on Turkey and the country’s possible membership in the EU.
“It didn’t take long to figure out Leave’s obsession,” wrote Cameron, who had campaigned for the U.K. to remain in the EU. “Why focus on a country that wasn’t an EU member? The answer was that it was a Muslim country, which piqued fears about Islamism, mass migration and the transformation of communities. It was blatant.”
“I do understand some people are very angry because they didn’t want to leave the EU,” said Cameron, who resigned his post as prime minister hours after the U.K. voted 52% to 48% to leave the EU.
“Neither did I,” he added.