WalesOnline wrote:Boris Johnson lied about a kipper and it tells you everything you need to know about his relationship with the truth
The man expected to be Prime Minister made a show of a kipper last night - there's just a few problems with what he said
"Pointless, expensive, environmentally damaging elf and safety" - they were the words of a man widely expected to be the next Prime Minister as he stood wafting a packet of kippers.
Boris Johnson stood on stage at the final hustings of the Tory leadership battle in east London last night and let rip about EU rules and taking back control of regulations.
As Mr Johnson stood and waved the kipper around, it may have generated laughs, but there were just a few problems with what he said.
What Boris Johnson said
He said: "This kipper, this kipper which has been presented to me right now by the editor of a national newspaper, who received it from a kipper smoker in the Isle of Man who is utterly furious because after decades of sending kippers like this, through the post, he has had his costs massively increased by Brussels bureaucrats who insist that each kipper must be accompanied by this, a plastic ice pillow.
"Pointless, pointless, expensive, environmentally damaging elf and safety ladies and gentlemen and when we come out therefore, we will not only be able to take back control of our regulatory framework and end this regulatory overkill but do things to boost the UK's economy".
"Brussels bureaucrats insist that each kipper must be accompanied by this, a plastic ice pillow"
The rules he has blamed on "Brussels bureaucrats" on are actually British rules.
The UK Government's own advice reads: "When you sell food by mail order or via the internet, the food you sell is subject to the UK food law."
The EU doesn't regulate sales of smoked fish.
An European Commission spokeswoman has today confirmed: "The case described by Mr Johnson falls outside the scope of the EU legislation and it's purely a UK national competence".
There are strict EU rules, the spokeswoman explained, when it comes to fresh fish but not processed fishery products.
'Pointless' ice pillows
Any rules about adding ice to a product are UK rules, and they are in place to stop listeria.
Cases of foodborne illness from listeria are rare, but can involve serious symptoms and even death in certain groups of people.
The UK rules say that "all foods must be delivered to consumers in a way that ensures that they do not become unsafe or unfit to eat".
EU law says: "The General Food Law Regulation ensures a high level of protection of human life and consumers' interests in relation to food, while ensuring the effective functioning of the internal market."
"Foods that need refrigerating must be kept cool while they are being transported. This may need to be packed in an insulated box with a coolant gel or in a cool bag," the UK Government rules say.
"UK rules, not EU legislation" @EU_Commission on "plastic ice pillow" for smoked kippers. Mr Boris Johnson said it was "pointless, expensive, environmentally-damaging health and safety" and an example of EU red tape.
"While the food business operator has an obligation to meet the microbiological requirements to ensure the safety of its food, however the sale of products from the food business operator to the final consumer is not covered by EU legislation on food hygiene."
Oh, and the Isle of Man isn't in the UK, or the EU.
The Isle of Man has a very limited legal relationship with the European Union under what's called protocol 3. "Under this special relationship the Island is outside of the European Union for most purposes".
So does Boris Johnson bother to check his facts before he speaks?
It is not the first time that the favourite to be the UK's next Prime Minister has had a casual relationship with the truth.
He was famously sacked from The Times after allegedly making up a quote from a historian called Colin Lucas, who also happened to be his godfather, for an article about Edward II. He was found out because he made a mistake in it.
As the Daily Telegraph's Brussels correspondent from 1989 to 1994, he produced a steady stream of stories about alleged Brussels proposals for regulations, many of which were distortions or myths.
In November 2004, he was sacked as the Conservative shadow arts minister for denying his affair with Petronella Wyatt, which was proven to be true.
And then there's the infamous claim on the side of the Vote Leave Bus that the UK sends £350m a week to the EU, with the addition "let's fund our NHS instead". The figure conveniently ignores all the money the UK gets back from the EU and the UK Statistics Authority formally issued a rebuke, describing it as "misleading".
...take your common sense with you, and leave your prejudices behind...