A leading US television news host has delivered a brutal assessment of the new prime minister Boris Johnson, saying Britain now faces a “level of chaos … not seen since World War II.”
Lawrence O’Donnell, host of the MSNBC network’s The Last Word, could barely contain his astonishment at the “crazy” process that allowed the Tory MP to take power after “just over one-tenth of one per cent of the British population” voted in the leadership contest.
The veteran anchor attacked Mr Johnson for offering “impossible” promises and said he was someone who did not “distinguish between fact and fiction”.
Explaining the prime minister’s Brexit strategy to US viewers, he said: “Boris Johnson says he will simple lead the United Kingdom out of the European Union without any exit deal at all, which would instantaneously bring a level of chaos to Britain not seen since World War II.”
British viewers who shared the clip on social media expressed their surprise at such honesty. “Quite remarkable views of our new PM from American news media,” wrote one.
“If you think the [US] electoral college is crazy, the United Kingdom has just outdone it,” said Mr O’Donnell at the beginning of his segment.
“Boris Johnson just become the British prime minister without even having an election,” he added, describing the leadership contest – which allowed teenagers as young as 15 to take part – as a “private vote” of Tory party members.
“Voters included children, because there are no real laws about this kind of private voting within a party, and the voters were obviously dominated by people who, like Boris Johnson, do not distinguish between fact and fiction.”
Referring to the “gloom” greeting Mr Johnson’s arrival at No 10, he added: “No British prime minister has even been more unpopular on his very first day in office than Boris Johnson.
“Like his predecessor Boris Johnson is promising to do the impossible and negotiate a new exit deal with the European Union, but unlike his predecessor he is also promising to do the impossible when he fails to negotiate a new exit deal.”
Comparing Mr Johnson to Donald Trump, Mr O’Donnell’s guest Brian Klaas, a political scientist and columnist, said there was “disbelief” in London at Mr Johnson’s arrival at No 10.
“You now have on both sides of the Atlantic a narcissistic, serial liar who has larger than life hair, who was born in New York [and] who has made racist statements,” he said.