The Sunday Telegraph

Starmer is foolish if he does not believe in God, claims Johnson

- By Roland Oliphant

BORIS JOHNSON has called Keir Starmer “foolish” for not believing in God but refused to reveal his own views on faith.

Mr Johnson, who was recently married in a Roman Catholic ceremony, refused to say whether he was a follower of the Catholic faith in an interview at the G7 summit in Cornwall.

“I don’t discuss these deep issues, certainly not with, not with you,” he told ITV’s Robert Peston.

Asked whether he believed in God, as Mr Starmer has said he does not, the Prime Minister said: “The foolish man has said in his heart, there is no God. I’ll leave it at that.” The Labour leader admitted in April that he does not believe in God, although he insisted that he has “a lot of time and respect for faith. I don’t believe in God, but I can see the power of faith and the way it brings people together,” he said in an interview with The Sunday Times magazine.

That would make Mr Starmer Britain’s first atheist prime minister were he to win the next election.

Mr Johnson is technicall­y Britain’s first Catholic prime minister. As a Catholic, his mother, Charlotte Johnson Wahl, had him baptised into the faith.

He was later confirmed into the Anglican Church as a teenager at Eton, but Catholic canon law holds that it is impossible to defect from the church and ignores such conversion.

The twice-divorced Mr Johnson’s marriage to Carrie Johnson nee Symonds at Westminste­r Cathedral last month was controvers­ial because Roman Catholics are forbidden from remarrying after divorce.

The Archdioces­e of Westminste­r said that a baptised Catholic who has wed under civil law but without observing the requiremen­ts of Catholic canon law is not recognised as validly married.

Neither his first six-year marriage to Allegra Mostyn-Owen, nor his second marriage of 27 years to Marina Wheeler, were Catholic ceremonies.

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