Boris Johnson: The Beast of Brexit

Heathcote Williams composed his ‘study in depravity’ more than three years ago, before the 2016 EU referendum, before Johnson’s careless talk condemned Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe to an Iranian jail cell, before the police were called to a domestic dispute at his girlfriend’s flat, before he said his hobby was making model buses out of old wine boxes. But Williams’s portrait is as true a likeness of its subject now as it was then.

Drawing on biographies by Sonia Purnell and Andrew Gimson, a great many newspaper articles, and Johnson’s own journalism and TV appearances, Williams assembles a blistering charge sheet: climate change denial, dishonesty, hypocrisy, incompetence, racism, violence, ‘remorseless self-promotion’, ‘a ruthless and often cruel ambition together with an elitism and a ferocious temper when challenged’.

From today, 24 July, the day Johnson enters Number 10, this latest edition of The Beast of Brexit will be available exclusively at the London Review Bookshop and on the LRB’s online store. We take no pleasure in this and hope there’s no need for a fourth edition.

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