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Boris Johnson defends his offensive articles about black and gay people

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LONDON — Boris Johnson has claimed that his previous articles referring to black people as having “watermelon smiles” and gay people as “bumboys” were “wholly satirical,” as he came under pressure to explain his long record of offensive comments.

The frontrunner to replace Theresa May as prime minister told Sky News that his comments had been “wrenched out of context.”

“I think if you look at each of every one of those articles… the quotations have been wrenched out of context in some cases to mean the opposite of what I intended,” Johnson said, adding that they had been made in “a wholly satirical way.”

Johnson was asked about Telegraph column from 2002, in which Johnson referred to a visit to Africa by the then prime minister Tony Blair.

“It is said that the Queen has come to love the Commonwealth, partly because it supplies her with regular cheering crowds of flag-waving piccaninnies,” he wrote, referring to African people as having “watermelon smiles.”

Johnson’s record of homophobic comments was also raised by Sky.

As Business Insider previously revealed, in a 1998 Telegraph column about the resignation of the former Labour Business Secretary Peter Mandelson, who is gay, from the Labour government, Johnson said the announcement would lead to the blubbing of “tank-topped bumboys” in “the Ministry of Sound” nightclub, and “the soft-lit Soho drinking clubs frequented by Mandy and his pals.”

He added that Mandelson’s departure would cause the “lipstick” to come away from Blair’s government.

Writing in the Spectator in 2000, Johnson also attacked what he called “Labour’s appalling agenda, encouraging the teaching of homosexuality in schools, and all the rest of it.”

In his 2001 book “Friends, Voters, Countrymen,” Johnson compared gay marriage to bestiality, writing that “If gay marriage was OK – and I was uncertain on the issue – then I saw no reason in principle why a union should not be consecrated between three men, as well as two men, or indeed three men and a dog.”

In a separate Telegraph column Johnson also bewailed attempts to increase equality at the BBC for gay people.

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