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Thursday 29th September 2011 | 11:29
Boris Johnson's relations with David Cameron have had their ups and downs over the years, but here's a new bit of intel that adds to the colour.
The new biography of the Mayor, Sonia Purnell's "Just Boris"*, details how he had great fun one day as he sat down to type his Telegraph column. The background is that Boris had just recently been passed over again by Cameron for a shadow frontbench job.
Casting around for ideas, Boris pondered writing the opening sentence "Why David Cameron is a complete c**t...."
Here's the relevant (and previously unpublished) extract:
"In those days, the column appeared on Thursdays. On Wednesday afternoons he would typically seek inspiration by visiting his Westminster staff in the annexe room, where he would play a game to find the best idea. On occasion this would descend into a competition to suggest the theme most likely to produce catastrophic consequences for his career. One of Boris’s favourites was: ‘Why David Cameron is a complete c**t’ – indeed, he was so enthused, he even started to compose an introduction beginning: ‘One thing that has become apparent to me in my years of Parliamentary service is that David Cameron is a complete c**t’. Another time, it was, ‘Why I believe in a European superstate’."
It looks like Boris was only half-joking, particularly about the EU.
Here's another extract that may not endear him to the Right which he has been wooing in recent years. Note the appearance of Chris Cook, now FT education corr and bete noir of Michael Gove:
From the way he talked during the fun and games, it was clear that Boris preferred the views and company of those inhabiting the more pro-European and left-leaning reaches of Toryism rather than the ones at the opposite end of the spectrum. ‘Boris and I got on because we have similar dislike of most members of the Conservative party,’ explains Chris Cook – one of David Willetts’ aides, also based in the annexe room. ‘He’s clearly not on the right wing, but actually quite Europhile in Tory terms. He liked to come into our office to gossip and bitch about the right-wingers, particularly Liam Fox, or indeed anyone else he thought had screwed up the party that week.’
I'm sure the Prime Minister and Fox will see the funny side....won't they?
*"Just Boris" published by Aurum Press on Monday 3rd October, £20.
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