The UK’s prime minister Boris Johnson left business leaders bemused after stumbling through a speech in which he lost his notes, before talking about a recent visit to a children’s theme park.
Johnson was speaking at the Confederation of British Industry (CBI), a gathering that attracts high profile members of the business community.
It was an important speech, in which he was supposed to be explaining how his government was going to “level up” the country, redistributing wealth and industry from the southeast of England to other parts of the country.
The government faces scepticism from a business sector that largely opposed Brexit, a cause Johnson championed.
Many UK businesses argued that leaving the European Union would make it harder to do business with the 27-nation bloc, and that has so far turned out to be true.
He gave a rambling speech, in which he lost his place, or his notes, asking three times of the audience “forgive me”, while he tried to get back on track.
Then he recounted a recent trip to a children’s theme park, Peppa Pig World.
“Yesterday, I went, as we all must, to Peppa Pig World,” he told the crowd.
“I don’t know if you’ve been to Peppa Pig World, hands up who’s been to Peppa Pig World? Not enough.
“I was a bit hazy about what I would find at Peppa Pig World, but I loved it. Peppa Pig world is very much my kind of place. It has… very safe streets, discipline in schools, a heavy emphasis on new mass transit systems, I notice, even if they were a bit stereotypical about Daddy Pig.”
CBI Director-General Tony Danker said businesses welcomed the government’s commitment to economic growth but needed to see “detail and delivery.”