Boris Johnson has suggested that journalists are always “abusing” others and that “guilt” led him to swap the profession for politics.
The prime minister made the comments while speaking to a group of schoolchildren.
He told them: “When you are a journalist you think ‘great, great job…’
“But the trouble is that… sometimes you find yourself always abusing people or attacking people.
“Not that you want to abuse them or attack them but you are being critical …where maybe you feel sometimes a bit guilty about that, where maybe you have not put yourself in the place of the person you are criticising. And so I thought I would give it a go (politics).”
But he added that he was in his mid-30s before he went into politics and his “strong” advice would be to do something else first. The prime minister’s press secretary Allegra Stratton denied his remarks were a comment on press reports about his fiancee Carrie Symonds. Ms Stratton told a Westminster media briefing: “That is the prime minister talking about the fact that for all of you as journalists, your job is to constantly challenge and that’s something that makes all of us in government better. The role of journalism is to constantly be asking the details and the finer points, as you have done on the roadmap.”