Conservatives face embarrassment after Johnson vs Mair interview
Boris Johnson’s reputation is in tatters after a gruelling interview with Eddie Mair on Sunday morning. Mair, standing in on the Andrew Marr Show following the host’s stroke, caught the usually unflappable Johnson completely off guard, quizzing him on past discrepancies ranging from “making up quotes, lying to your party leader and wanting to be part of someone being assaulted”.
Mair was speaking ahead of a BBC documentary, airing tonight, entitled Boris Johnson: The Irresistible Rise. Mair’s grilling opened: “The Times let you go after you made up a quote. Why did you make up a quote?”
A clearly flabbergasted Johnson could only retort by attempting to change the subject; “are you sure our viewers wouldn’t want to hear more about housing in London?” He eventually admitted he had “mildly sandpapered something somebody said”.
Things only got worse for Johnson with Mair saying “Let me ask you about a barefaced lie. When you were in Michael Howard’s team you denied to him you were having an affair, it turned out you were and he sacked you for that. Why did you lie to your party leader?”
“I don’t propose to go into all that again,” said Johnson before Mair quipped sarcastically, “I don’t blame you”.
A hapless Johnson pleaded, “why don’t we talk about something else?” But the worst was yet to come for the Mayor of London. Mair pointed to a phone conversation featured in the forthcoming documentary in which Johnson allegedly gave the address of a journalist to a friend, Darius Guppy, so that he can have the journalist “beaten up”. Mair concluded “you’re a nasty piece of work aren’t you?”
The interview was all over Twitter, with senior Tory figure and Times columnist Tim Montgomerie describing it as a “car crash”.