Naughty boys: Politicians and their pasts

Politicians and their pasts

Naughty boys: Politicians and their pasts

When asked to reveal the naughtiest thing she’d ever done, Theresa May confessed that she had run through fields of wheat, which had annoyed farmers.

That must have seemed utterly sinful to a parson’s daughter, but it doesn’t move the mercury when compared to some of the candidates in the contest to succeed her. Michael Gove owns up to having used cocaine when he was a young journalist, a “mistake” he regrets.

A teenage Boris Johnson snorted cocaine and smoked marijuana.

Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt reveals he “thought” he’d taken cannabis while backpacking in India, while International Development minister Rory Stewart smoked opium at a wedding celebration in Afghanistan.

We have Bill Clinton to thank for this ‘yes-I-did-but’ formula. He owned up to experimenting with marijuana when he was an Oxford University Rhodes scholar, “but I didn’t like it and didn’t inhale”. Let’s give the last word to an entertainer who knows more about drugs than Mr Gove and the others, Rolling Stones guitarist Keith Richards: “Cocaine — they say it’ll kill you, but they don’t say when.”

More in this section

News Wrap

A lunchtime summary of content highlights on the Irish Examiner website. Delivered at 1pm each day.

Sign up

Our Covid-free newsletter brings together some of the best bits from, as chosen by our editor, direct to your inbox every Monday.

Sign up