Boris Johnson's F-Word Rant

By Londonist Last edited 119 months ago
Boris Johnson's F-Word Rant

Photo by Simon-K
Mayor Boris Johnson gave Gordon Ramsey a run for his money in the sweary stakes yesterday after it was alleged that he used the f-word 10 times in a rant against MP Keith Vaz.

The tirade came during a telephone conversation after Vaz told the BBC that Johnson appeared "uncooperative and confused" during a committee hearing into the arrest of a Tory MP. One committee member said it appeared that the Mayor had fallen out of bed 10 minutes before (presumably not a reference to his famously tousled mop of hair).

Johnson maintains that he actually only swore once or twice, though the transcript of the conversation which was circulated to committee members clocks up the swear total at 10. The Mayor has also stated he believed the call to be private and criticised Vaz's involvement of the media as "unfortunate".

Satirists have been quick to leap into the fray and with such appealing subject matter, who can blame them? Dave Hill's London Blog links to a Daily Mash article in which Johnson supposedly unveils a foul-mouthed new Olympic slogan and Tory Troll lampoons Johnson's recycling efforts, with comedy swearing liberally applied. The Boris Johnson quote generator has even been updated to include swearing.

The Times has helpfully published the transcript so we can judge the sweary Mayor's efforts for ourselves, while the Metro contented themselves with gleefully repeating parts of the conversation with the rude bits asterisked out. The Independent didn't shy away from printing the complete Anglo-Saxon words in all their glory but the Guardian and the BBC took a more reserved stance.

A spokesperson for the Mayor has denied claims that a charity swear box is shortly to be installed in Johnson's office.

By Beth Torr

Last Updated 13 February 2009