Boris Johnson Reportedly Planned To Make 'Graphic' Remarks About MPs Who Ousted Him

Johnson's ex-aide Guto Harri said the first draft of the former PM's resignation speech was pretty unflattering.
Boris Johnson when he announced he was resigning back in July
Boris Johnson when he announced he was resigning back in July
Beresford Hodge - PA Images via Getty Images

Boris Johnson’s former aide has alleged that the ex-prime minister planned to say something pretty “graphic” about fellow Tory MPs in his resignation speech.

Johnson has just been eviscerated by the parliamentary privileges committee, as MPs have concluded he did deliberately lie to the Commons about breaking Covid lockdown rules during the partygate saga.

He issued a particularly robust response, calling the committee “deranged” – but this isn’t the first time he has tried to publicly slam MPs who have come up against him, according to his former director of communications.

In the final episode of his Global Player podcast, Unprecedented, Guto Harri noted that Johnson’s resignation speech from last July – where he famously said “them’s the breaks” – was criticised for being “a bit punchy”.

But, Harri claimed, they should have seen the other versions.

In a podcast episode released on Thursday, Harri claimed: “An earlier draft of the speech was even tougher.

“That morning, when it was all very raw, he basically had a dig at those MPs who had been urging him to ‘go with dignity’, saying that they reminded him ‘of the marketing of a Swiss euthanasia clinic.’

“We all decided, thankfully, that it was a bit too graphic, even for those dramatic times.”

Johnson was forced out of office after health secretary Sajid Javid and current PM, but then chancellor Rishi Sunak, resigned.

According to Harri, Sunak’s resignation felt “pretty lethal” and marked the “beginning of a mad, mad night”.

Approximately 50 more Tory MPs followed suit, stepping down from Johnson’s government in light of the Chris Pincher scandal – which was just the most recent crisis in a long list of difficult headlines attacking the then-PM around that time.

Harri claimed that people wanted Johnson to show remorse for his errors in Downing Street – but that was wishful thinking.

He said: “They basically wanted a massive mea culpa from Boris, a grovelling apology yet again, for messing up Britain and lying to Parliament and all that kind of jazz, that was never going to happen.”

Johnson’s ex-aide claimed: “He didn’t really feel remorseful, he felt bitter at what had happened to him and what his own party had done to him.”

Johnson has been particularly critical of Sunak ever since he resigned.

In his final weeks before he left office, Johnson seemed to take a particularly pointed swipe at his former colleague in a video online. He was flying a typhoon fighter jet, when he suddenly said: “I leave it to you to imagine who I would like at this stage to send into orbit.”

Although the ex-PM agreed to pull out of the Tory leadership race last autumn, allowing Sunak would become the next leader of the party uncontested, he continued to attack him from the backbenches.

He pressured Sunak over the UK’s commitments to climate change in November, the lack of flights deporting asylum seekers to Rwanda in December, and the government’s hesitation in sending fighter jets to Ukraine in February.

Johnson then stepped down last Friday as an MP when he saw an advanced copy of the parliamentary privileges report.

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


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