Boris Johnson’s speech: From M People to Bojo’s Mojo, the weird and wacky phrases from the PM’s address



Boris Johnson‘s Tory party conference speech was a rallying call for Britain to “build back better”.

But the Prime Minister coupled his hopeful rhetoric with lighter moments, including jokes, snipes at his rivals – and even song lyrics.

Here, we take a look at some of the more eccentric moments from the PM’s speech.

PM refuted claims Covid robbed him of his ‘mojo’

The Prime Minister said he would use a “medical metaphor” to tackle some of the “seditious propaganda” about his ability to manage the coronavirus epidemic in the UK as a result of his own Covid illness.


Boasting of his new diet and exercise routine, the Prime Minister was critical of those who said he had lost his vigour or, as he called it – echoing Austin Powers – his “mojo”.

He also appeared to claim that it was was part of a wider plot by anti-Brexiteers, adding that it was “sedition” – which the Oxford dictionary defines as “conduct or speech inciting people to rebel against the authority of a state or monarch” – to accuse Mr Johnson of being without mojo.

He said: “I have read a lot of nonsense recently about how my own bout of Covid has somehow robbed me of my mojo. And, of course this is self-evident drivel.

Boris challenged his rivals to an arm wrestle (PA)

“The kind of seditious propaganda that you would expect from people who don’t want this Government to succeed.”

He challenged naysayers to take him on at wrestling

After his mojo comments, Mr Johnson challenged the naysayers to physical jousts to prove his point, saying: “I could refute these critics of my athletic abilities in any way they want: arm-wrestle, leg-wrestle, Cumberland wrestle, sprint-off, you name it

“And yet I have to admit that the reason I had such a nasty experience with the disease is that although I was superficially in the pink of health when I caught it I had a very common underlying condition – my friends, I was too fat. And I have since lost 26 pounds.”

Mr Johnson quoted M People as he shared update on weight loss

The Prime Minister continued talking about his own battle with the virus and his weight loss goals by referencing a song by 90s band M People, Search for the Hero.

He said: “And I am going to continue that diet because you have got to search for the hero inside yourself and hope that individual is considerably slimmer.”

It was widely reported this summer that Mr Johnson hired a celebrity personal trainer to help him work off the pounds after his near-death experience with Covid-19.

Boris Johnson and his personal trainer, hired to help him lose weight (Evening Standard / eyevine)

Mr Johnson again referred to Keir Starmer as ‘Captain Hindsight’

The Prime Minister got creative with his adjectives as he described Labour as a “regiment of pot-shot, snipeshot fusiliers” and drew on an old criticism of Sir Keir Starmer.

“They, the Labour party can’t even vote for measures to protect veterans from vexatious prosecutions, fifty years later, when no new evidence is supplied,” said Mr Johnson.

“And throughout this pandemic it is this government that has taken the tough decisions, because we believe that there are no easy answers, while they have simply sniped from the side-lines.

“Well, my friends, we have no time now to focus on Captain Hindsight and his regiment of pot-shot, snipeshot fusiliers.”

This is not the first time he has referred to Starmer as Captain Hindsight. He previously used the term during PMQs to describe the Labour leader’s approach to how he critiques the Government .

Boris Johnson calls Keir Starmer ‘Captain Hindsight’ during grilling over care home comments in PMQs

PM accused Labour of relying on ‘uncle sugar the taxpayer’

Mr Johnson also took aim at Labour’s manifesto pledges by accusing them of relying on “uncle sugar the taxpayer” to fund their policies.

“But we must be clear that there comes a moment when the state must stand back and let the private sector get on with it,” he said.

“I have a simple message for those on the left, who think everything can be funded by uncle sugar the taxpayer.

“It isn’t the state that produces the new drugs and therapies we are using. It isn’t the state that will hold the intellectual property of the vaccine, if and when we get one. It wasn’t the state that made the gloves and masks and ventilators that we needed at such speed.

“It was the private sector, with its rational interest in innovation and competition and market share and, yes, sales.

“We must not draw the wrong economic conclusion from this crisis.”



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