Boris Johnson Grew 'Bored' With Covid-19, Former Aide Claims

The former prime minister also clashed with Sajid Javid over Covid testing, it was revealed.
Former prime minister Boris Johnson
Former prime minister Boris Johnson
WPA Pool via Getty Images

Boris Johnson declared himself “epileptically bored with Covid” in the latter days of the pandemic, an aide has revealed.

Guto Harri, a longtime ally of Johnson, revealed that Johnson also had an “almighty row” with Sajid Javid over free Covid testing in 2022.

Harri outlined the growing the tensions between Johnson and his health secretary - who took over after Matt Hancock’s affair was exposed.

It is just one of a series of revelations made by Harri who served as Johnson’s communications chief in No.10.

Boris Johnson and Sajid Javid
Boris Johnson and Sajid Javid
AARON CHOWN via Getty Images

Harri told his Unprecedented podcast: “There was an almighty row over ending free universal Covid testing.

“The Saj dug in with a curiously well-rehearsed line about being asked to ‘disarm when the enemy is still lurking out there’.

“But testing was costing £2 billion a month, dwarfing the budgets of entire departments.

“Boris, at the time, declared himself ‘epileptically bored with Covid. What people are getting now is not killing them’, he thought. ‘It’s a matter of stupendous irrelevance, as long as we have a good pair of eyes in the crow’s nest, so we will not miss another iceberg’.

“That essentially was what he was after, just being able to spot the next Covid, if God forbid, it ever happened. He carried the day on that occasion and saved a fortune.”

Guto Harri
Guto Harri
TOLGA AKMEN via Getty Images

Harri also claimed that Johnson was “hugely frustrated” by Javid and that the former health secretary’s promises of NHS reform left colleagues “confused”.

In separate podcasts Harri revealed how Johnson’s friends tried to stop him backing Brexit, saying they did not think he actually believed in it.

He also claimed Johnson and King Charles had a showdown over the government’s plan to deport migrants to Rwanda – with the then-prime minister “essentially squaring up” to the monarch.

:: New episodes of Unprecedented are available exclusively on Global Player every Thursday and on other platforms every Friday.


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