British Prime Minister Boris Johnson said in a televised interview Tuesday that he lacks the discipline to participate in “Vegan January” before declaring that “it’s a crime” that those who follow the diet cannot eat cheese.


“I had thought of it but it requires so much concentration,” Johnson told BBC Breakfast when asked if he’d commit to slashing meat and other animal by-products from his diet for the month of January. “I take my hat off to vegans who can handle it, who manage to avoid all non-vegan products.

“I mean, you can’t eat cheese if you’re vegan!” Johnson exclaimed. “It’s a crime!"

Against cheese lovers?” BBC Breakfast’s Dan Walker asked, to which Johnson agreed.

“Yes, it’s a crime against cheese lovers,” he said.

Perhaps the most significant revelation that came in the 30-minute interview was that Johnson welcomed scrapping the Obama-era Iran nuclear deal with a new agreement negotiated by President Trump. Johnson deviated with an earlier statement, made with Germany’s Chancellor Angela Merkel and France’s President Emmanuel Macron, saying they would continue to back the deal despite Trump pulling U.S. support in May 2018.

"If we're going to get rid of it, let's replace it and let's replace it with the Trump deal," Johnson told BBC, referencing the 2015 Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) nuclear deal between Iran and world powers.

The remarks came after Iran detained the British ambassador in Tehran for several hours over the weekend for allegedly participating in protests that broke out across the capital city in response to the government admitting it accidentally shot down a Ukrainian jetliner last week, killing all 176 aboard.

Also in the BBC interview, Johnson commented on London's efforts to refurbish Big Ben, suggesting a plan to have clock tower’s clapper restored in time to ring out in celebration of “Brexit Day.” The plan will allow people to “Bung a bob for a Big Ben bong," he said.


Regarding the State Department's refusal to honor his request to extradite Anne Sacoolas, Johnson told the BBC that it was the “right move” to ask. The wife of a former American diplomat was charged with killing teenage motorcyclist Harry Dunn in August when driving on the wrong side of the road in central England. She fled the country before she could be arrested.

"I think the chances of America actually responding by sending Anne Sacoolas to this country are very low,” he said. "That's not what they do. But we will continue to make every effort that we can."

He also said he was “absolutely confident” that the British royals would be able to sort things out amid reports that Prince Harry and Meghan Markle were seeking to distance themselves from the queen and opt for a more progressive role in the royal family.

In other topics, Johnson rejected support for the government stepping in to save British airline Flybe from going under and he also spoke of taking input from the public on the possibility of building infrastructure to allow “gigabit broadband for everybody” without compromising national security.