No. 10’s relationship with the media has been frosty at times, with ministers reportedly banned from appearing on shows like the Today programme. Boris Johnson has now taken that antipathy a step further. The PM has been caught on Sky News talking to a school children about one of the biggest long-running news stories of the moment.
During the discussion, Mr Johnson was asked by ten-year-old Braydon Brent about HS2. Much has been made in recent weeks of the government’s potential plans to scrap the scheme. However, instead of revealing the fate of the troubled project to an established journalist, Boris decided that young Braydon should be the first to know.
The schoolboy reportedly asked what HS2 was, to which the Prime Minister replied:
‘It’s a colossal railway line. Now the truth is, the people who did it spent far too much money, they were profligate with the way they did it. Do you know what I mean by profligate?
‘They just wasted money. And the whole was it was managed was hopeless. So we’re in a hole, we’re in a mess.
‘But we’ve got to get out of it. And we need a way forward, so we’re thinking about how to sort it out now.’
Young Braydon decided to press the PM on his response, asking Johnson: ‘Is it a deep hole or is it a small one?’
To which Boris replied:
‘It’s a… in a hole the size of HS2, the only thing to do is keep digging.
‘That’s what you’ve got to do. It’s a big hole.’
Of course, Mr S doesn’t need to tell the PM that you can’t actually dig yourself out of a hole…