Quiz: Boris Johnson did WHAT?

See how well you know the weird and controversial moments of the British prime minister’s career

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson appears to nod off during the opening ceremony of the U.N. Climate Change Conference on Nov. 1 in Glasgow. (Jeff Mitchell/Getty Images)

From political scandals to insults, Britain’s Boris Johnson has a history of often saying — and doing — the wrong thing. How familiar are you with his tumultuous career?

Question 1 of 7

Which of these scandals was Johnson mired in during his time as prime minister?

Not quite.

Johnson has survived scandal after scandal as prime minister, that is until the Pincher affair. Recent disclosures that the prime minister knew of sexual assault allegations against Conservative Party member of Parliament Chris Pincher when he promoted him proved to be one misstep too many. This led to an avalanche of resignations from Johnson’s party forcing him to step aside and make way for a new prime minister.

[Boris Johnson blames ‘the herd,’ resigns to make way for new U.K. leader]

Question 2 of 7

What did Boris do to avoid an interview with Piers Morgan in 2019?

Not quite.

On the final day of election campaigning in December 2019, Johnson was on a visit to the farming business “Modern Milkman” when he was approached by British TV show “Good Morning Britain,” hosted by Piers Morgan.

“I’ll be with you in a second,” Johnson promised. Then he turned and walked directly into an oversized refrigerator, sparking #fridgegate to trend on Twitter.

[Boris Johnson accused of hiding in fridge to avoid interview with Piers Morgan]

Question 3 of 7

Johnson was accused of plagiarism in what?

Not quite.

As part of a Brexit campaign video released in 2019, Johnson re-created a scene from the romantic film “Love Actually.”

Footage shared to Twitter in a video entitled “Brexit, Actually” showed him standing outside clutching a collection of handwritten cards that included phrases like “your vote will make all the difference.”

Labour lawmaker Rosena Allin-Khan accused the prime minister of copying a political ad she shared the month before, tweeting, “Boris Johnson has copied my video,” and urging people not to share his version.

[Boris Johnson re-created a scene from ‘Love Actually’ for his campaign video. Hugh Grant is among the critics.]

Question 4 of 7

What cartoon character did Johnson say represented the power of British creativity?

Not quite.

In a flustered 2021 speech to business leaders, Johnson lost his place in prepared remarks. He then went off script to declare his love for the amusement park Peppa Pig World and the cartoon on which it is based, saying that it “has very safe streets” and “discipline in schools,” and that it represented the “power U.K. creativity.”

The prime minister also compared himself to Moses in the 25-minute speech.

[Boris Johnson’s Peppa Pig speech forces him to answer the question: ‘Is everything okay?’]

Question 5 of 7

What did Johnson do when he was accused of having an affair in 2004?

Not quite.

Johnson denied to the tabloids that he had an affair. He called the story “complete balderdash” and “an inverted pyramid of piffle.” But the affair had in fact happened; Johnson lost a party leadership position for his deception.

[Boris Johnson confirms he has six children. This is a big story in Britain.]

Question 6 of 7

Which of these comments did Johnson make about world leaders?

Not quite.

Johnson made all of those statements.

In a 2003 unsigned column for the Spectator, he called George W. Bush “a cross-eyed Texan, warmonger, unelected, inarticulate, who [epitomizes] the arrogance of American foreign policy.”

In a 2007 Daily Telegraph column, when Hillary Clinton first ran for president, he described her as having “dyed blonde hair and pouty lips, and a steely blue stare, like a sadistic nurse in a mental hospital.”

Johnson also wrote a poem about Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan in 2016 in which he called him “a young fellow from Ankara, Who was a terrific wankerer.”

[Britain’s new top diplomat once likened Hillary Clinton to ‘a sadistic nurse in a mental hospital’]

Question 7 of 7

Each of these characterizations provoked outrage. Which one did Johnson say?

Not quite.

Johnson wrote in a column in 2018 that women in burqas resemble “bank robbers” and “letter boxes.” He was expressing his opposition to a new ban on face veils in Denmark but then called niqabs and burqas “oppressive and ridiculous.”

He was accused of stoking Islamophobia after writing: “It is absolutely ridiculous that people should choose to go around looking like letter boxes; and I thoroughly dislike any attempt by any — invariably male — government to encourage such demonstrations of ‘modesty.’”

In a report released in 2021 about his Conservative Party’s handling of Islamophobia, he said he was “sorry for any offence taken.”

The first quote belongs to Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro.

The last belongs to former U.S. president Donald Trump.

[Lawmaker blasts Boris Johnson in Parliament for ‘racist’ remarks about Muslim women]

About this story

Text by Jennifer Hassan and Reem Akkad. Editing by Reuben Fischer-Baum and Ann Gerhart. Photo editing by Chloe Coleman. Karla Adam, William Booth, Adam Taylor and Ishaan Tharoor contributed to this report. Additional photos by Reuters, Getty Images and AFP.

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