Boris Johnson's launch event has wrapped up -- but it's unclear whether it left the public much the wiser on what a Johnson premiership would look like.
Reporters quizzed him more than once on his past controversial and offensive comments and his Brexit approach.
Johnson offered a few answers and made a few awkward dodges. Here's what we learned.
What Johnson said:
- He doesn't want a no-deal Brexit -- but he'll prepare for one anyway: It was a slightly mixed message on Brexit, with Johnson refusing to vigorously pursue a no-deal Brexit but adding that the UK can only get a good deal from Europe if it prepares for such an outcome. The only problem? That was also the line Theresa May took, before she ran into political reality. It's still difficult to see how Johnson will navigate a Parliament that is stringently opposed to crashing out.
- He can defeat Jeremy Corbyn: Johnson was gung-ho in taking the fight to Labour, arguing that he is the best-placed candidate to defeat Jeremy Corbyn's party. "We cannot let them anywhere near Downing Street," he said, noting that he defied a London-wide swing to Labour in the 2017 general election. That's true -- but his majority was cut in half during that poll, and Brexit remains unpopular in the capital.
- He's sorry for causing offence -- sort of: "Of course I'm sorry for the offence that I've caused," Johnson said, adding that racially divisive comments he has made in the past have caused some "plaster to come off the ceiling." But he defended speaking "directly," arguing that such an approach is what the public wants. His supporters jeered as reporters brought up comments he has made in the past, but they won't sit well with much of the public if he makes similar slips as prime minister.
What he didn't say:
- How often he's taken drugs, and whether he regrets it: Johnson's most glaring swerve during his Q&A with the media came when he was pressed on his past drug use. He's admitted in the past to taking cocaine, but he said the issue has been brought up "many times" and made an uneasy pivot towards his record on knife crime when he was asked to elaborate.
- Whether he'll resign if he fails on Brexit: Theresa May has already been put to the sword over her failure to deliver Brexit, and her successor will walk into the same political impasse that she struggled to smash. But despite promising to leave the EU in October, with or without a deal, Johnson didn't elaborate on what his Plan B would be. One of those could come in handy if he's unable to sway the EU or lawmakers in the House of Commons towards his position.