In case you have been living under a rock, sheltering from the sun for the past week, we have a new Prime Minister and his name is Boris Johnson.  The former Foreign Secretary and Mayor of London, was announced on Tuesday as Theresa May’s successor, gaining 66% of the vote form the Conservative party membership.

Here is his voting record and views on some key issues around human rights protections for us all here at home:

 Human Rights Legislation

  • He has generally voted against laws to promote equality and human rights
  • On 13 Jun 2018, Boris Johnson voted against largely retaining the EU "Charter of Fundamental Rights" as part of UK law following the UK's withdrawal from the European Union.
  • On 26 May 2016, he was absent for a vote on repealing the Human Rights Act

Johnson has also backed a report from a centre right think-tank which called on MPs to amend the Human Rights Act to specify that it does not apply to any death that took place before it came into force in 2000. According to the report this is aimed at “bringing to an end all ongoing investigations, inquests and prosecutions into Troubles-related deaths” referring to the Historical investigations into death during the Troubles Northern Ireland. However, this would also mean that it would not apply to pre-2000 events such as the Hillsborough disaster. Families of the 96 Liverpool supporters unlawfully killed at Hillsborough have spoken about how the Human Rights Act help them secure justice.

Speaking to a Vote Leave backers in York in 2016, Johnson said "Keep the European Convention, it's a fine thing... We wrote it. Get out of the EU."

LGBT Rights

  • Johnson was absent for a vote on Equality Act (Sexual Orientation) Regulations
  • Boris Johnson voted yes on Civil Partnership Bill [Lords]
  • He was absent for a vote on Gender Recognition Bill — Allow Marriages to Remain Valid If They Become a Same Sex Marriage Show vote
  • Johnson voted to repeal a ban on the promotion of homosexuality in schools (Section 28).
  • He was absent for a vote on Adoption and Children Bill — Suitability Of Adopters

As Johnson was Mayor of London at the time, he did not vote on the Marriage (Same Sex Couples) Act. Although he was one of the first high-ranking Conservatives to public express their support for same sex marriage, he has faced criticism for his early history of anti-LGBT gaffes.

 

Welfare and Benefits

  • Johnson has never voted on reducing housing benefit for social tenants deemed to have excess bedrooms (the "bedroom tax")
  • He has almost always voted against paying higher benefits over longer periods for those unable to work due to illness or disability
  • Johnson has almost always voted for a reduction in spending on welfare benefits

 

Home Affairs:

  • Generally voted for a stricter asylum system
  • Generally voted against introducing ID cards
  • Consistently voted for requiring the mass retention of information about communications
  • Generally voted for stronger enforcement of immigration rules
  • Consistently voted for mass surveillance of people’s communications and activities

 

Health and Social Care

  • Generally voted against smoking bans Voted against allowing terminally ill people to be given assistance to end their life

During the leadership race Johnson promised that no-one should be evicted from their family home to pay for the cost of care, and that there should be a cross-party consensus in order to address this issue".

Johnson was also widely criticised by mental health campaigners and charities for a Telegraph article where he suggested that we could “improve mental health, save money and boost the economy all in one go” through hard work.

 

Accusations of Islamophobia and Racism

In 2002, Johnson wrote an article for the Telegraph where he referred to “watermelon smiles” and “piccaninnies”. Johnson has described this article as was ‘wholly satirical’.

Johnson has faced further criticism for comments he made likening veiled Muslim women to “letterboxes”.