British Prime Minister Boris Johnson suggested on Tuesday that he had quit journalism for politics because in his home profession he often found himself mistreating print people.
Johnson, 56, displayed a colorful, at times combative style of speaking and writing, both as a journalist and as a politician, a trait that fueled much controversy over his three decades in the eyes of the public.
“When you’re a journalist it’s a really good job. It’s a great job. But the problem is you always, sometimes, find yourself mistreating people, attacking people,” he said. during a visit to a school on Tuesday.
“Not that you want to abuse them and attack them, but you are critical. You are critical when maybe sometimes you feel a little guilty because you haven’t put yourself in the shoes of the person you are criticizing.”
Johnson concluded his spontaneous remarks by suggesting that it was these aspects of journalism that prompted him to enter politics.
The opposition Labor Party has said Johnson should apologize to reporters.
“We know from Donald Trump that this type of attack on the free press is dangerous and designed to stir up mistrust and division,” said lawmaker Chris Matheson, head of media policy at Labor.
“For Boris Johnson, to say that journalists” always abuse people “probably says more about his own career,” he added.
As a young man, Johnson was fired from his first journalism job, at The Times newspaper, for making up a quote.
He then had a successful career at the Daily Telegraph, where he rose to prominence as a correspondent in Brussels by lambasting the European Union in vivid, if not always quite accurate prose.
He went on to pursue parallel media and political careers as editor of Spectator magazine and as an MP.
Even in recent years, when he focused more on successive political jobs as Mayor of London, Foreign Secretary and Prime Minister, he wrote frequent newspaper columns in his trademark style.
In the latest in a series of similar examples, he sparked a big public argument with a 2018 column in which he compared Muslim women wearing burqas to letterboxes and bank robbers.
(Except for the title, this story was not edited by The Bharat Express News staff and is posted Platforms.)