THE odds-on favourite to be Britain’s next Prime Minister dressed up as an old lady to find out more about Oxfordshire buses, archive documents suggest.

Among a weighty set of documents on former Henley MP Boris Johnson in the Oxford Mail archive, two refer to Mr Johnson’s plan to dress up as ‘Doris’ on public transport.

The files also detail accusations of racism – for using the word "piccaninnies" and making derogatory comments about the Congo – controversial remarks on a sex case, and reference the former foreign secretary being struck by a bread roll hurled at him during a formal dinner.

Tory leadership hopeful Mr Johnson, who first appears in the archive in December 1985, for winning the Oxford Union presidency while a student at the university’s Balliol College, is criticised for defending a female school teacher accused of assaulting two teenage boys.

Describing them as "little brutes", the sometime journalist says he would not have objected to her advances.

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That story comes in reference to a newspaper article written by Mr Johnson in 2002 – the same year in which another Oxford Mail story referred to him "causing a storm" over race-related comments.

He wrote about “flag waving piccaninnies” in Commonwealth countries and – in reference to the Congo – “pangas hacking human flesh” and “tribal warriors with watermelon smiles (watching) the big white chief touch down in his big white British taxpayer funded bird.”

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In a separate incident, Mr Johnson caused such offence that the then South Oxfordshire District Council chairman Eleanor Hards threw a bread roll at him during a civic dinner. Insisting that he "deserved it", the councillor said that Mr Johnson had mentioned at least three times that people threw bread rolls at him when he bored them, adding: “so I took him at his word.”

Perhaps the most unusual entries are two stories referring to “a number of attempts to board public transport” while Mr Johnson was “in his incarnation as Doris”. The 55 year-old former London Mayor, said: “I want to put myself in the position of a little old lady... I want to find out exactly what the situation is for those people who rely on buses.”

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The archive also reveals a brief career as a teacher in Australia, an article praising Enoch Powell’s “rivers of blood” speech, expenses claims for Diet Coke and a remembrance wreath, and his annoyance at a spate of thefts of his bicycle from Westminster.

Mr Johnson is among the final two in candidates to the lead the country, alongside Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt.

Asked about his chances in 2002, he said: “There’s more chance of me being decapitated by a frisbee. I am a toe nail on the body politic.”

His rival also attended Oxford University but the one file on a ‘Jeremy Hunt’ in the archive appears to refer to a different individual.

Oxford Mail:

A mock up of what ‘Doris’ May have looked like

One of the stories: 'Doris on the bus’

Mr Johnson has long faced criticism for his past behaviour, notably for lying to his party leader, for adultery, making up quotes, the Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe case – in which he was accused of worsening the situation for a British-Iranian mother imprisoned in Iran. He was also alleged to have conspired to have a journalist’s ribs broken.

The Uxbridge MP’s office did not immediately respond to a request for comment.