Boris Johnson says riding his bike on the pavement is the naughtiest thing he has ever done

George Martin
Britain's Prime Minister Boris Johnson speaks to a caller as he mans the phones at the Conservative Campaign Headquarters Call Centre in central London on December 8, 2019. - Britain will go to the polls on December 12, 2019 to vote in a pre-Christmas general election. (Photo by Ben STANSALL / POOL / AFP) (Photo by BEN STANSALL/POOL/AFP via Getty Images)
Boris Johnson manning the phones at the Conservative Campaign Headquarters Call Centre in central London on Sunday. (Getty)

Boris Johnson says the naughtiest thing he has ever done is riding his bicycle on the pavement.

The Prime Minister was previously asked the question on Sky News, but declined to answer saying he needed more time to think about it.

Asked again on Sky News’s Sophy Ridge On Sunday programme this week, Mr Johnson exclaimed: “Oh no, not this again”.

He then asked his aides to provide him with suggestions of the naughtiest thing they had witnessed him do.

Conservative MP Theresa May walks through Central Lobby after members of parliament were summoned to listen to the Queen's Speech during the State Opening of Parliament ceremony in London.
Former Prime Minister Theresa May was widely mocked for her answer to the same question during the 2017 election campaign when she said the naughtiest thing she had done was running through fields of wheat. (PA)

Mr Johnson then said: “I think I may sometimes, how can I put this, I may sometimes when I was riding a bicycle every day – which I used to do – I may sometimes have not always obeyed the law about cycling on the pavement.

“But I want you to know how firmly and strongly I disapprove of people who cycle on the pavement and I think it’s wrong and I feel bad about it but I might sometimes have scooted up onto the pavement rather than dismounting before.”

Asked if that was actually the naughtiest thing he had ever done, he replied: “No, no, it was a very careful rubric. What you said was the naughtiest thing that I was prepared to admit…”

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Much has been made of Mr Johnson’s past record, which has included being sacked as a Times journalist for making up a quote and lying to then-Tory leader Michael Howard about his affair with journalist Petronella Wyatt – another decision that saw him sacked, this time from his role as a shadow minister.

Ed Davey, deputy leader of the Liberal Democrats, said there were “far naughtier” things that the PM could have mentioned.

“From lying to the Queen to insulting single mothers, Boris Johnson has done far naughtier things than cycling on the pavement,” he said.

The same question brought one of the stand-out moments of the 2017 election campaign when Theresa May said her naughtiest moment was running through fields of wheat on local farms when she was growing up.

The answer was widely mocked and commentators used it to show how uncomfortable Mrs May was at being the focal point of a general election campaign.

Labour’s Jeremy Corbyn was asked a different version of the question by ITV’s Julie Etchingham last week when she quizzed him on what the “most romantic sort of wild and reckless thing you’ve ever done” was.

Mr Corbyn replied: “You can’t ask that question on television!”, before admitting it was “wonderful holidays” with his wife, Laura Alvarez.