BORIS Johnson is a populist who does not believe in fair play or “real democracy”, according to the wife of one of Catalonia’s political prisoners.

Txell Bonet, who is married to Jordi Cuixart, president of the Catalan grassroots group Omnium Cultural, was speaking exclusively to The National as she prepared to address the All-Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) on Catalonia at Westminster.

The journalist, broadcaster and cultural activist reflected on events surrounding the Catalan independence referendum in 2017, which saw her husband locked up for two years before trial and sentenced to nine years in prison after he was convicted of sedition.

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“Jordi is not a politician he’s an entrepreneur, and two of his civil rights were violated at the time of the referendum – his right to freedom of speech and freedom of assembly.

“He led a peaceful demonstration of 40,000 people outside the economy ministry in September, the month before the referendum, and called for people to take part in it.

“We saw how people were beaten by the police when they went out to vote. A thousand people were injured by the police and there has been no investigation into that.”

After hearing that the Prime Minister had refused Nicola Sturgeon a section 30 order for indyref2, Bonet maintained that self-determination was a basic right.

Boris Johnson is a populist who doesn’t believe 100% in fair play or real democracy,” she said.

“It’s very sad because I always believe that in Scotland, Quebec and Catalonia, people have the right to decide their own future.

“Scottish people voted to stay in Europe and I think they should be allowed to remain in the EU.”

She also expressed sympathy for 65-year-old former Catalan Parliament Speaker Carme Forcadell, who was jailed for over 11 years for sedition, for allowing a debate on self-determination, and who had twice become a grandmother while in prison.

Cuixart, along with Jordi Sanchez, who leads the Catalan National Assembly (ANC), yesterday formally applied for permission to temporarily leave prison, which they are allowed to do after serving a quarter of their sentences.

Bonet cares for the couple’s two young babies, but said she and Cuixart were never far apart, despite his incarceration.

“He is very strong, optimistic and a real fighter and in good humour,” she said.

“I won’t let prison rule my life. Physically we are separated, but spiritually we’re not.”