London Mayor Boris Johnson, has responded to Barack Obama’s intervention in the EU referendum with a fiery broadside describing the American President as “incoherent,” “inconsistent,” and “downright hypocritical.”
Johnson also described him as “the part-Kenyan president” and repeated the oft-cited, but factually dubious claim, that Obama ordered the removal of a bust of Winston Churchill from the Oval Office. It had been suggested that if true, Obama may have been motivated because of an “ancestral dislike of the British empire” after Churchill had ordered troops to quell an uprising against the British in Kenya.
This claim was rubbished by Obama during a press conference yesterday alongside British Prime Minister David Cameron.
Obama has been quietly supportive of Britain remaining inside the EU but this week published an article in The Telegraph newspaper calling on British voters to stay in surprisingly passionate terms.
“I will say, with the candour of a friend, that the outcome of your decision is a matter of deep interest to the United States. The tens of thousands of Americans who rest in Europe’s cemeteries are a silent testament to just how intertwined our prosperity and security truly are.” – Barack Obama
He argued that Britain’s influence has been amplified by its membership of the European Union, helping to secure agreements on trade, climate change and even the recent deal with Iran.
“This kind of cooperation—from intelligence sharing and counterterrorism to forging agreements to create jobs and economic growth—will be far more effective if it extends across Europe. Now is a time for friends and allies to stick together.
“Together, the United States, the United Kingdom, and the European Union have turned centuries of war in Europe into decades of peace.” – Barack Obama
Obama remains popular in Britain so it’s no surprise that the out campaign is desperate to dismiss Obama’s intervention. Despite the passion of the out campaign, most opinion polls suggest Britain will narrowly vote to remain part of the EU.
Johnson, responded by accusing Obama of hypocrisy, claiming that Washington would never countenance a deal that diluted U.S. sovereignty.
“The US guards its democracy with more hysterical jealousy than any other country on earth.
“For the United States to tell us in the UK that we must surrender control of so much of our democracy—it is a breathtaking example of the principle of do-as-I-say-but-not-as-I-do. It is incoherent. It is inconsistent, and yes it is downright hypocritical.” – Boris Johnson
His comments were echoed by fellow campaigner to leave the EU and UKIP leader Nigel Farage.
Former Labour minister Kate Hoey was also critical, claiming Obama’s intervention was “insulting” and “patronizing.”