Former editor Boris Johnson wins Spectator's £1,000 limerick competition (May 2016)

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A £1,000 limerick competition run by the Spectator magazine has been won by its former editor, Boris Johnson. The competition was aimed at finding a limerick most insulting to Turkey’s president Recep Tayyip Erdogan. The judge, Douglas Murray, said: “I am sure there will be those who claim this is a stitch-up.”

He added: “Certainly there were better poems. For sure there were filthier ones (and may I take this opportunity to congratulate the person who got the term ‘dirty trombone’ into their entry? The discovery that something called a ‘Turkey slap’ already exists also inspired several readers to new poetic heights). But this award is entirely anti-meritocratic.”

The Spectator launched its competition after a comedian was prosecuted in Germany for a poem about President Erdogan. In Germany it is a criminal offence to insult or ridicule foreign heads of state.

Boris Johnson, a Conservative MP and former London mayor, is a key leader of the Leave campaign to take Britain out of the EU. You can read his winning limerick here

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Stephen Gospage

Fri 4th Jun 2021 16:58

Hang on, I can think of something else about him that's "entirely anti-meritocratic". Quite a few, actually.

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Greg Freeman

Sun 26th Jun 2016 22:49

Hang on a minute ... isn't this limerick scribbler earmarked to be our next prime minister? No doubt he and Turkey's president will have a laugh about his little joke in the months to come. Churchillian, eh?

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Ronnie leek

Sat 21st May 2016 23:18

I am old. And long in the tooth.

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Dominic James

Sat 21st May 2016 13:20

Thoroughly nasty.
I must be getting old.

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Ronnie leek

Sat 21st May 2016 10:36

There was a blonde misfit called Boris
Such shit he would spout from his oriface
From behind his blonde locks he would dole out his bollocks
Oblivious to all of his followers.

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M.C. Newberry

Fri 20th May 2016 16:07

Douglas Murray at The Spectator
Chose the winner - and sooner or later
He would know that to flaunt him
Would come back to haunt him
So he played the bold judicator.

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John Coopey

Fri 20th May 2016 09:49

Shit, Wind and Parrafin! I shall have to up my game.

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steve pottinger

Fri 20th May 2016 09:44

But, but, but.... where's the 'dirty trombone' limerick??? You can't tease us with that snippet and then leave us hanging, Mr Murray!

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