Labour condemn PM over 1999 article suggesting recession could be good for Britain’s sex life

Labour condemn Boris Johnson over article in 1999 suggesting recession could be good for Britain’s sex life

  • Labour Shadow Cabinet Minister calls on the PM to apologise for 1999 article 
  • Boris Johnson wrote how it was easier to get a table in an economic downturn
  • The now-PM wrote ‘recession will be nothing short of an aphrodisiac’ for women 
  • Labour’s Jon Trickett said the remark ‘reveals the real man inside No 10’

Labour last night condemned Boris Johnson for a 20-year-old article suggesting a recession could be good for the nation’s sex life.

Jeremy Corbyn’s party demanded an apology from the ex-journalist Prime Minister for also writing how in an economic down-turn, it was easier to get a taxi or a restaurant table – with the waiter more likely to be British than ‘Serbo-Croat’.

They claimed that the piece for lifestyle magazine Harpers & Queen – even though it was written in 1999 – showed just how out of touch the Old Etonian now was with most people. 

Mr Johnson referred to one expert view that, as women were ‘always exhausted from juggling their lives,’ shrinking employment and giving women more time for ‘recreation’, could mean that ‘recession will be nothing short of an aphrodisiac’

In an article combining trademark Boris gags with serious references, Mr Johnson – then assistant editor of the Daily Telegraph and writing before he became an MP – sought to challenge the notion from Gordon Brown and Tony Blair that ‘any recession is an unmixed disaster’.

He wrote that ‘recessions, in important aspects, are quite consoling’ – pointing out the ‘most trivial advantages’ of being able to get a restaurant table or to hail a cab. 

‘Even the Tube is less crowded, since people apparently cut down on “discretionary journeys”.’

Labour¿s Shadow Cabinet Minister Jon Trickett last night called on the Prime Minister to apologise. He said: ¿To turn the human difficulties caused by economic recession into a joke reveals the real man inside No 10 ¿ a person who has no empathy at all with the experience of the majority of people in our country'

Labour’s Shadow Cabinet Minister Jon Trickett last night called on the Prime Minister to apologise. He said: ‘To turn the human difficulties caused by economic recession into a joke reveals the real man inside No 10 – a person who has no empathy at all with the experience of the majority of people in our country’

The future London Mayor and Foreign Secretary went on: ‘You tuck in your napkin at some smart restaurant where you have easily secured a table. The waiter approaches. He opens his mouth and guess what comes out?

‘English, rather than the Serbo-Croat you get when the economy is running at capacity.’

He said that although recessions were ‘thought by most economists to be bad for sexual activity’, this time it could be different. 

Mr Johnson referred to one expert view that, as women were ‘always exhausted from juggling their lives,’ shrinking employment and giving women more time for ‘recreation’, could mean that ‘recession will be nothing short of an aphrodisiac’.

Mr Johnson, the then assistant editor of the Daily Telegraph, was writing before he became an MP. He is pictured above when he worked for the Daily Telegraph

Mr Johnson, the then assistant editor of the Daily Telegraph, was writing before he became an MP. He is pictured above when he worked for the Daily Telegraph

He went on to point out how recessions punished greed as well as ‘Fat Cats’ and ‘red-braced thrusters’, adding: ‘Far from mortal damage to the economy, recession is nature’s way of ridding the herd of the halt and lame, leaving room for new, hardy businesses to flourish’. 

Labour’s Shadow Cabinet Minister Jon Trickett last night called on the Prime Minister to apologise. 

He said: ‘To turn the human difficulties caused by economic recession into a joke reveals the real man inside No 10 – a person who has no empathy at all with the experience of the majority of people in our country.’

No 10 declined to comment. On Friday, Mr Johnson declined to apologise for other articles – including one that said women wearing niqabs looked like letterboxes – insisting he had ‘never intended to cause hurt or pain’.