New prime minister Boris Johnson faces fresh call to say sorry to Portsmouth after calling the city 'full of drugs and obesity'

NEW prime minister Boris Johnson has been urged say sorry to the people of Portsmouth after calling the city ‘too full of drugs, obesity, underachievement and Labour MPs’.

Thursday, 25th July 2019, 8:40 am
Updated Thursday, 25th July 2019, 2:49 pm

The fresh plea comes from the Labour MP for Portsmouth South, Stephen Morgan, as he urges the Tory leader to be a ‘statesman’ as PM.

Mr Johnson made the comments in a motoring magazine in 2007 in a review he wrote for a £340,000 Maybach limousine.

And while he did not apologise in a visit to Portsmouth last month, he posed with a Portsmouth FC shirt and dubbed himself a ‘true blue’.

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Boris Johnson at The Queen's Hotel in Southsea on Thursday, June 2, with Donna Jones, right. Picture: Sarah Standing (270619-1827)

Mr Morgan said the words are still ‘highly offensive’ and said the Tories had done ‘everything in their power’ to rip the heart out of the city.

‘Under the Tories, Hampshire has lost over 1,000 police officers,' he said.

‘Portsmouth’s schools are losing £3.7million. Our local authority has seen the local services we all rely on slashed by 48 per cent since 2011, equating to £73m.

‘To say such things about Portsmouth, when representing a party that has consistently done everything in its power to rip the heart out of the community, is highly offensive to our great city.

Stephen Morgan MP. Picture: Sarah Standing (180724-5649)

‘Mr Johnson hasn't won the support of our country nor will he win the support of our city.

‘To own respect he needs to demonstrate he’s a statesman with his words and his deeds.

‘I have demanded an apology for Portsmouth and now that Mr Johnson is in a position of power with the privilege of high office, urged him to show leadership and transform lives by investing in Portsmouth and its people. Will he do this? I am not so confident.’

The comments sparked fury when they were made 12 years ago, with former MP Mike Hancock calling for Mr Johnson to be sacked.

But as she welcomed Mr Johnson to the Queen’s Hotel in Southsea last month, Portsmouth Conservative leader Donna Jones said: ‘Boris may have said it in a certain way but the points he made then were based on facts and truth.’

Since becoming PM yesterday Mr Johnson has overseen a ministerial overhaul in the heart of government, with more than 15 departures.

Portsmouth North MP Penny Mordaunt was among them, reportedly being sacked 85 days into her role as defence secretary.