‘Boris Johnson is the most honest’: We went to a Conservative Club to meet the people choosing our next Prime Minister

boris johnson is the most honest we went to a conservative club to meet the people choosing our next prime minister - 'Boris Johnson is the most honest': We went to a Conservative Club to meet the people choosing our next Prime Minister

Voting is underway as 160,000 Conservative Party members decide on the next Prime Minister.

While the polls say Boris Johnson has a strong lead over his rival Jeremy Hunt, we decided to ask some Bristol Tories which of the two they will be backing.

We were greeted by the sounds of Neil Diamond’s Sweet Caroline and laughter from the skittles room as we opened the doors to Brislington & St Annes Conservative Club, in Wick Road.

But when we started talking to its patrons about the Tory Leadership election – which will conclude on July 22 – the tone became more sombre.

You can see what they said in the video at the top of this page.

‘He has the charisma’

boris johnson is the most honest we went to a conservative club to meet the people choosing our next prime minister 1 - 'Boris Johnson is the most honest': We went to a Conservative Club to meet the people choosing our next Prime Minister

Brexiteer Ray Smith

Ray Smith, 76, pondered for a moment, sipping from a pint of Butcombe ale, when asked which way he would cast his ballot.

The retired engineer, of Broomhill Road, says he has been a Conservative all his life, but voted for UKIP and the Brexit Party in some recent elections because he wants a hard departure from the EU.

He said: “I don’t know who I’ll vote for. I did think Boris Johnson, but I may be having a little bit of doubt about him. I still think he has the charisma.”

 

Ray fears the ex-Foreign Secretary may be “too volatile” for the top job, citing his reported recent bust-up with girlfriend Carrie Symonds.

He said: “I know people are thinking if that’s what he is like domestically, what will he be like in negotiations?

“But they are making quite a lot of this. It’s a domestic dispute.”

He said he was not offended by Johnson’s comments about gay men, but added: “I have nothing against gay people. In fact I know a couple of gay people.”

‘Smarmy’

Ray was scathing in his assessment of Hunt.

He said: “He is a Remainer and I listen to him on telly a lot and I think he is a smarmy b******.”

boris johnson is the most honest we went to a conservative club to meet the people choosing our next prime minister 2 - 'Boris Johnson is the most honest': We went to a Conservative Club to meet the people choosing our next Prime Minister

Reporter Conor Gogarty speaks to ‘Ibby’

A 58-year-old man who identified himself only as Ibby said his priority is the delivery of a no-deal Brexit.

Asked who he will be backing, the Bristol Airport ambulance driver replied: “Not Jeremy Hunt. He was a Remainer.”

Ibby, of Wick Road, added he feels he has no choice but to support Johnson.

 

“I believe of any politician standing, Boris is the most honest one I would rely on,” he continued.

“All the rest are just a bunch of liars. Believe everything you read in The Sun mate, don’t worry.”

‘One-horse race’

Playing pool in the club were two friends, Leave-voting builder Phil Hawkins and pro-Remain company director Stuart Sharley.

Stuart, 59, believes the Leadership contest is a “one-horse race”, but does not support either candidate.

He said: “Boris promises a lot but will he deliver? I don’t know.

boris johnson is the most honest we went to a conservative club to meet the people choosing our next prime minister 3 - 'Boris Johnson is the most honest': We went to a Conservative Club to meet the people choosing our next Prime Minister

We interviewed Phil Hawkins, left, and Stuart Sharley, centre

“He did well as far as London Mayor is concerned but this is a step up.

“It’s the nature of the man. He opens his mouth and then thinks.”

Phil, 54, has been frustrated by Johnson “not answering questions properly”.

 

The backbencher has attracted criticism for refusing to talk about his row with Symonds and declining to appear on some TV debates.

Stuart said: “Hunt’s personality is not as strong as Boris’. I think he’s the same as May. We need a character at this moment in time.

“We have a completely hung Parliament. Realistically I don’t think either of the candidates will be able to get a deal through.

“For all Boris’ waffle, Parliament won’t allow it.”

‘Meh’

boris johnson is the most honest we went to a conservative club to meet the people choosing our next prime minister 4 - 'Boris Johnson is the most honest': We went to a Conservative Club to meet the people choosing our next Prime Minister

Theresa Gibbs, who works at the Conservative club

Theresa Gibbs, 42, has worked behind the bar of the club for four years. She is undecided between the candidates.

“I like Boris but I like him as a person more than his politics,” she said.

Quizzed on whether she would she like him as a Prime Minister, she replied: “Probably not.”

Her thoughts on Hunt were similarly unflattering – the mention of his name elicited a “meh” from her.

“I don’t know much about Jeremy, I must admit,” she said. “He’s not as charismatic as Boris.”

Ray said he would be happy with a no-deal departure from the EU.

He added: “We rode our own boat. Then this mob came along from Europe and they seem to be taking everything out of us and wanting excess funds.

“We seem to be subsidising a lot of the smaller countries. I also think we can trade equally all over the world.”

‘Frighteners’

boris johnson is the most honest we went to a conservative club to meet the people choosing our next prime minister 5 - 'Boris Johnson is the most honest': We went to a Conservative Club to meet the people choosing our next Prime Minister

Patrons of the Conservative club

He called economic warnings from experts about the impact of no-deal “frighteners”.

Ray said: “I haven’t studied it in much depth. I just want to get out of the EU.

“I was told on the bus by a young woman that all the OAPs like me had ruined the country for young people.

“I told her we beat Germany in the war and we should be on our own now. I was glad to get off the bus at Broomhill Road.”

Ibby also said he backed no-deal, adding: “It’s what we voted for. Theresa May’s Withdrawal Agreement is a fudge.”

Ibby called on the next leader to tell the EU: “Right, it’s October 31, we are leaving with no deal. Up yours Dolores.”

Who is Bristol’s Tory Party leader backing?

boris johnson is the most honest we went to a conservative club to meet the people choosing our next prime minister 6 - 'Boris Johnson is the most honest': We went to a Conservative Club to meet the people choosing our next Prime Minister

Mark Weston

We also asked the leader of Bristol’s Conservative Party, Mark Weston, who he will support.

The councillor for Henbury and Brentry said he will decide his preferred option after the hustings finish on July 17.

“Boris has charisma,” he added. “He touches parts of the electorate other Conservatives can’t get to.

“Hunt is statesmanlike, calm and measured. They are both good candidates.”

Read More

Today’s top stories

  • boris johnson is the most honest we went to a conservative club to meet the people choosing our next prime minister 7 - 'Boris Johnson is the most honest': We went to a Conservative Club to meet the people choosing our next Prime Minister

    Updates from St Paul’s Carnival

  • boris johnson is the most honest we went to a conservative club to meet the people choosing our next prime minister 8 - 'Boris Johnson is the most honest': We went to a Conservative Club to meet the people choosing our next Prime Minister

    Police cordon in city centre

  • boris johnson is the most honest we went to a conservative club to meet the people choosing our next prime minister 9 - 'Boris Johnson is the most honest': We went to a Conservative Club to meet the people choosing our next Prime Minister

    £300K home with half a roof

  • boris johnson is the most honest we went to a conservative club to meet the people choosing our next prime minister 10 - 'Boris Johnson is the most honest': We went to a Conservative Club to meet the people choosing our next Prime Minister

    Trampoline park cancels parties

Asked if he had a problem with Johnson’s comments about Muslim women, he said: “I definitely wouldn’t have said those things.

“I don’t like burkas if I am honest about it, but if a woman wants to wear one she has every right to do so.”

He called Johnson’s argument with Symonds “a hell of a barney” and “an absolute tubthumper of a row”.

But he also said it was an “irrelevance” because police did not find anything to investigate.

Back to: Home Bristol News

Help us share

You may also like...

HAVE A QUICK QUESTION?

Simply fill our short form and we will contact you back asap.




X
CONTACT US