Boris Johnson’s new-found freedom

Boris Johnson's new-found freedom
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As Foreign Secretary, Boris Johnson found himself restrained in ways that didn't suit him. Now on the backbench once again, BoJo is able to speak freely on Brexit. He's also able to return to a favourite pastime: cycling.

Although Johnson is a well known cycling enthusiast, the keen pedaller has been stuck on foot since taking up office as Foreign Secretary. In 2016 the Metropolitan Police banned him from cycling to work, fearing he would be a target for a terrorist attack. Now he's back on the road. Writing the diary in this week’s Spectator, the former Foreign Secretary reveals his joy at finally getting back behind the handlebars and sailing down sunlit streets ‘like an ape released back into the wild by Howletts zoo':

'After two years of disuse, my bike is oiled and pumped. As I sail helmetless down the sunny street I feel like an ape released back into the wild by Howletts zoo — slight apprehension at being up close to other members of my species, with no keepers to look after me; but also an unmistakable sense of relief and joy.'

No doubt Johnson will be relieved to be able to return to his fitness regime of choice. Robbed of his usual means of burning away the calories while on the front-bench, and faced with an onslaught of diplomatic dinners, Boris tried to fill the void by taking up jogging instead. Pictures of him limbering alongside the Sun editor Tony Gallagher at Tory conference on a morning run suggested that it wasn't his best-suited exercise method.

Written bySteerpike

Steerpike is The Spectator's gossip columnist, serving up the latest tittle tattle from London and beyond. Email tips to

Topics in this articlePoliticsboris johnsonuk politics