I’ve just watched the Boris interview with Eddie Mair and I have to say, these dogs won’t hunt.
Mair threw three accusations at Johnson and I think all three of them are dealable with. The first was an allegation that Boris had made up a quote, something that he lost his job at The Times for. Now, I suspect that anything in which Boris can claim the defence that he had only moved something from ‘before Piers Gaveston’s death’ to after it isn’t going to end a political career. Also considering that Boris rose to journalistic prominence after this incident, it is hard to claim that it is disqualifying.
The second was about his affair with Petronella Wyatt. Again, I don’t think this is career ending stuff. In this day and age, politicians’ private lives are generally considered off limits unless they contain actual criminal acts.
Finally, comes the Darius Guppy incident — easily the most serious of the three. But as Boris struggled to point out, nothing actually came of this phone call. No journalist was beaten up because of it.
Some journalists reserve a special animus for those poachers who have turned gamekeeper. But I suspect that this morning’s discomfort will soon become part of the Boris shtick.
PS: The whole of Marr this morning is worth watching. It contains a star turn on the paper review by Coffee House’s own Isabel Hardman. Here’s the full Boris/Mair interview.