To Boris Johnson, the truth really is an alien concept | Bobby McDonagh

Brexit will have real-world implications for millions of people, yet Johnson can’t even grant them basic honesty and respect

• Bobby McDonagh is a former Irish ambassador to the UK

I have a confession to make. Boris Johnson and I have a quite a bit in common. We attended the same Oxford College (Balliol). We studied the same subject (classics). We were presidents of the same debating society (the Oxford Union). However, a crucial difference is that I gave up being an undergraduate when I left university four decades ago.

As Johnson is considerably younger than me we were not contemporaries at university. However, when later I was the Irish ambassador in London and he was the mayor, we met a few times. As might be expected he was charming and ebullient. There was a touch of mischief in the Johnson eye. The trademark awareness that he was an actor in his own play, a charisma looking for an identity.

Related: The rich say they fear Labour. It’s Brexit they should be worried about | Polly Toynbee

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