No evidence Boris Johnson said he wanted to “lop the heads off of smelly peasants”

25 February 2021
What was claimed

Boris Johnson said he wishes he’d been born in the middle ages when he could behead peasants and have sex with a “stable boy”.

Our verdict

There is no evidence Boris Johnson said this. There is no record or archive of this quote beyond non-attributable Facebook and Twitter posts.

A Facebook post with almost 1,500 shares shows an alleged quote made by Boris Johnson in May 2015 saying: “I have to be honest here. I was born in the wrong time. I’d be much happier living in the middle ages, lopping the heads off of smelly peasants and then giving the stable boy a jolly good buggering.”

There is no evidence to suggest he has ever made this statement. A search of this quote yields no results from any of the newspapers and publications that Boris Johnson has worked for. Nor does it appear to be a quote attributable to any other public figure or person. 

We spoke to Bob Stoker, secretary of Huddersfield Trades Union Council, who said he republished the post but couldn’t remember where he found the original content, only that he had found it elsewhere on Facebook. It appears the quote has been circulating since at least December 2020.

Update 25 February 2021

We updated this article to clarify the wording of the conclusion.

Full Fact fights bad information

Bad information ruins lives. It promotes hate, damages people’s health, and hurts democracy. You deserve better.