From The Guardian: Boris Johnson does speak to Steve Bannon, Nigel Farage has said, increasing the pressure on the Conservative leadership frontrunner to explain his links to Donald Trump’s controversial former campaign manager.
“Steve likes to be seen at the centre of the action. He knows Boris, he speaks to Boris. Steve speaks to virtually everybody,” Farage told a press conference when asked what he knew of Johnson’s links to Bannon. “I’ve known Steve Bannon since 2012. There’s no great secret about that. Boris, of course, got to know Bannon when he was foreign secretary, when he was visiting Washington and going into the West Wing, and that’s how those two got to know each other.”
Farage’s comments follow the emergence of video footage in which Bannon speaks about his relationship and contacts with Johnson, and says he helped him put together his first speech after his resignation as foreign secretary, in which Johnson condemned Theresa May’s Brexit strategy. One clip shows Bannon reading a story about Johnson’s speech, before he says: “I’ve been talking to him all weekend about this speech. We went back and forth over the text.”
When reports emerged last year of links between Johnson and the far-right activist, who has tried to build up a network of populist movements across Europe, Johnson called them “a lefty delusion whose spores continue to breed in the Twittersphere”.