New evidence suggesting close links between Boris Johnson and Donald Trump’s controversial former campaign manager Steve Bannon can be revealed today, calling into question the former foreign secretary’s previous denials of an association with the influential far-right activist.
Video evidence obtained by the Observer shows Bannon, who helped mastermind Trump’s successful bid for the presidency but was later exiled from the White House, talking about his relationship and contacts with Johnson, and how he helped him craft the first speech after his resignation as foreign secretary, in which Johnson tore into Theresa May’s Brexit strategy.
The revelations will pile new pressure on Johnson after the Guardian reported that police had been called to the flat he shares with his partner, Carrie Symonds, in the early hours of Friday morning after neighbours heard a loud altercation involving screaming, shouting and banging. [Continue reading…]
Boris Johnson was struggling to keep his campaign to become prime minister on course on Saturday night as he repeatedly refused to explain why police had been called to his home after a loud, late-night altercation with his partner.
Senior Tories were quick to raise fresh concerns over the former foreign secretary’s suitablity for No 10 as the favourite to succeed Theresa May stonewalled question after question about the incident at the first hustings of the leadership contest in front of party members.
Asked about the story, revealed on Friday evening by the Guardian, Johnson told the Birmingham audience that people did not “want to hear about that kind of thing”. When pressed on whether understanding his character was important in the battle to replace Theresa May, Johnson insisted he would only talk about his plans “for the country and our party”. [Continue reading…]
The question of Boris Johnson’s character – the way he does things and who he seems to be – is now of first order importance for the future of Britain. When Carrie Symonds is reported to be railing at him for ruining her sofa with red wine, shouting “You don’t just care for anything because you’re spoilt. You have no care for money or anything” she lands a direct hit on everything about him that should give Tory members, and the rest of us, pause for thought: the sense of entitlement, the privilege and the fecklessness. The public will have been struck by the revelation he earned £700,000 outside his parliamentary salary in less than a year: people don’t like politics to pay that well.
Consider as well this small vignette: Johnson’s Toyota Previa people carrier had been parked outside Symonds’s flat overnight but was reportedly driven away Friday afternoon. It had three parking tickets and a mocking flyer on the windscreen that had also been posted on a fence nearby reading : “We’d rather endure him as a neighbour than our prime minister.” Another neighbour was reported as saying: “It’s got loads of parking tickets on it. He just leaves it here. He doesn’t care.” That’s the attitude: parking tickets are for little people. That cavalier posh-boy spoiled behaviour should truly upset law abiding Tory party members. [Continue reading…]
With Boris Johnson, no one knows what is round the corner.
In campaigning terms he is ranked a grade one liability. Affairs, gaffes, diplomatic blunders have marked his career at every turn. That is why his advisers have gone to such lengths over recent weeks to keep him off the television, and minimise the opportunities for him to commit indiscretions.
Since the balloting of Conservative MPs began last week, Johnson has been constantly visible in the Commons – but at the same time completely off limits for any informal chat. His team have wanted him “out there” and on show but on a leash and silent, except in meetings with those whose support he has sought, behind closed doors.
Whenever he has conducted Commons walkabouts of late, Johnson has been granted a personal minder shadowing him on his strolls, often in the person of the MP James Wharton, a key member of his team. On numerous occasions Wharton has been seen physically tugging him away from potential conversations that might be overheard by a member of the press, or, just as dangerous, someone from a rival campaign.
But not even Lynton Crosby, the veteran mastermind of Tory campaigns, who is now advising team Johnson, could have planned for Friday evening’s revelations in the Guardian. [Continue reading…]