PM brushes off criticism after his baffling Peppa Pig speech

Boris Johnson's Peppa Pig comments praised by Vaizey

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The Prime Minister stumbled after seeming to mix up his speaking notes while addressing the annual Confederation for British Industry conference yesterday. He declared a family visit to the Peppa Pig World theme park in Hampshire taught him a lesson in the “power of UK creativity”. Mr Johnson also referenced Old Testament prophet Moses, Russian revolutionary leader Lenin and performed a bizarre impression of a car engine noise during a wide-ranging address ridiculed as “rambling” by critics.

The Labour Party’ twitter feed mocked: “Don’t worry, Boris Johnson. Nobody could follow anyway.” But the PM rejected the sniping.

And he reprised the same remarks in another speech at London’s Guildhall last night.

When asked afterwards if he had lost his notes at the CBI event and whether he was all right, the PM replied: “People got the vast majority of the points I wanted to make and I thought it went over well.”

His address in South Shields, Tyne and Wear, was billed as a keynote speech about his “green industrial revolution” and the “moral mission” for levelling up Britain. But he lost his place and ditched much of the text after repeatedly shuffling through his papers. Appearing increasingly frustrated, he ­muttered “blast it” under his breath, then begged his audience: “Forgive me.”

He then reflected on his trip to Peppa Pig World, saying: “I loved it. [It] is very much my kind of place – safe streets, discipline in schools, heavy emphasis on new mass transit systems – even if they are a bit stereotypical about Daddy Pig. But the real lesson was about the power of UK creativity.

“Who would have believed a pig that looks like a hairdryer, or possibly a sort of Picasso-like hairdryer, rejected by the BBC, would be exported to 180 countries and a business worth at least £6billion to this country.”

He then gave a spluttering impersonation of an internal combustion engine to illustrate the difference between petrol and electric vehicles [EVs]. Mr Johnson said: “EVs may not burble like sucking doves and they may not have that ‘arum arum araaaaaagh’ you love. But they have so much torque they move off the lights faster than a Ferrari.”

Mr Johnson compared his 10-point plan for a “green industrial revolution” with Moses’ 10 Commandments, describing it as “a new Decalogue I produced a year ago when I came down from Sinai and said to my officials – the new 10 commandments thou shalt develop.”

He also tried to invoke the spirit of Lenin, saying: “Lenin once said the communist ­revolution was Soviet power plus the electrification of the whole country. Well I hesitate to quote Lenin, but the coming industrial revolution is green power plus the electrification of the whole country.”

Eyebrows were further raised last night as he criticised Margaret Thatcher, describing his predecessor’s initially pro-Europe stance as a “blot on her record”. He spoke out about the iconic leader who pressed for the UK to join the Common Market, at a trade conference celebrating her legacy.

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