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Fury as UK Kids’ Writer Implies ‘Dictator’ Boris Johnson Should Be ‘Hanged on Lamp Post’

© Henry NichollsA man wearing a mask of British Prime Minister Boris Johnson, protests outside Downing Street in London, Britain August 28, 2019.
A man wearing a mask of British Prime Minister Boris Johnson, protests outside Downing Street in London, Britain August 28, 2019. - Sputnik International
Boris Johnson has decided to prorogue parliament weeks before Britain’s scheduled departure from the EU in a bid to thwart the lawmakers challenging his Brexit plan – a step that has prompted widespread criticism in the UK.

Philip Pullman, a best-selling British children’s author, has sparked anger among politicians and social media users over a tweet suggesting that Prime Minister Boris Johnson should be hanged on a lamp post.

He tweeted on Thursday: “When I hear the name ‘Boris Johnson’, for some reason the words ‘rope’ and ‘nearest lamp-post’ come to mind as well.”

Incensed reactions quickly started pouring in, with Twitter users accusing the award-winning writer of inciting violence.

“The voice of reasonable, tolerant debate,” Conservative MP Robert Courts tweeted sarcastically. “You always know people have lost the argument and have little intellectual confidence in their case when they resort to hideous language and sick personal abuse like this.”

Lib Dem MP Sarah Wollaston, a former Tory who herself has labelled Johnson a “tin pot dictator”, rebuked Pullman: “No one should give a scrap of incitement to violence, especially those with great influence. You should delete [the tweet].”

Actress/author Emma Kennedy responded: “Philip, you’re my hero, but that tweet will be reported and you’ll be banned and that would be the absolute last thing we all need.”

​Pullman has heeded the call and deleted the tweet, but stood by it and denied advocating lynching the prime minister.

“I wouldn't kill the prime minister, and I don't want anyone else to,” he said. “But I don't apologise for the anger I feel; only for its intemperate expression.”

“Recent events have aroused my anger to the point where I temporarily lost my judgement. In the heat of the moment I made a tactical error.”

The author was apparently referring to Boris Johnson’s move to suspend the parliament, which he called “a low point in our nation’s political history” and described as the prime minister’s coming-out as a “dictator”.

Queen Elizabeth II on Wednesday approved Johnson’s request to prorogue the parliament in mid-September to foil hard Brexit opponents, in a move that will limit the time for lawmakers to pass legislation blocking any efforts to take Britain out of the European Union.

But Johnson, who still has a narrow majority in parliament, has promised there will be “ample time” for MPs to debate Brexit and insisted it was “completely untrue” to suggest that his move has something to do with Brexit.

The upcoming suspension nevertheless caused outrage among the opposition and triggered an online petition against the move, which has garnered over 1.5 million signatures so far.

An ardent Brexiteer, the Tory leader assumed office in July on the promise that Brexit will take place by the 31 October deadline, whether the UK has a deal with the EU in place by that time or not.

As a new withdrawal agreement is still in the works, there is widespread concern over the possibility of a no-deal Brexit, which would spell trouble for the British economy and revert it to WTO rules for trade – likely meaning higher tariffs and prices as well as cross-border disruption and trade disputes.

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