Cornered about his old campaign manager, Boris recounted Lynton Crosby’s advice to stop talking about airports earlier:
In an interview about airports, naturally.
As Guido’s Sun column revealed yesterday, the mop-topped Mayor of London is going bald. Brand Boris is reliant on his giant blond bouffant, yet his appearance on last week’s Question Time revealed a growing bald patch at the back and a deliberate effort to comb his locks forward. It was all a bit Donald Trump:
The age old rule in British politics is that bald men in the television age do not beat rivals with a full head of hair. Think Tony Blair versus William Hague, Iain Duncan Smith and Michael Howard, nor can we forget Maggie versus Kinnock, in every election the slap-head loses. Could Boris be a modern day version of Samson? Better get shift that leadership campaign up a gear…
In his continued quest to be all things to all people, the Mayor has come out the side of the crooked in the Standard:
“What I feel … this is going to get me into trouble, but I do feel a certain amount of sympathy with all these poor MPs who end up thinking they are having some jovial lunch in which they are hysterically exaggerating their ability to do things. As if an MP would tell you whether he is actually any use or knows anyone or if there is any point in his existence, honestly.”
He also dealt with a little person-al matter at his 2020 Vision launch earlier. In his own special way. Discussing the fact that London’s population has risen by at least 380,000 since he took over, the Mayor added “no thanks to me”.
He also quipped that he would not be the one to cut the ribbon on Crossrail 2 as Mayor, “or anything else”.
Cue hilarity in the room…
Quotes via Pippa Crearer
Andy Coulson has surfaced for the first time since his Downing Street walk out in 2011 to dispense some pearls of wisdom for those he left behind. Writing for July’s GQ, he gives “his ten-point masterplan for saving David Cameron and stopping Labour in 2015”. And he sticks it to Boris too. Guido is sure the advice will be welcomed with open arms…
Despite awaiting his September trial, Coulson has clearly been keeping one eye on the ball:
“The prime minister must push [Miliband] to take positions: expose his strategy (to keep his head down, silently hope that the economy continues to go wonky and, well, just be the other guy), challenge him to take a view on the tricky issues opposition politicians love to duck….I’m struck by how detached the opposition front bench appears to be from their leader…I just don’t think they rate him very much. And if they don’t there’s a good chance the public will feel the same way once they get to know him properly.”
He’s even got even stronger words for Balls:
“The prime minister should pray Ed Balls remains shadow chancellor until the election…Appointing him as George’s opposite number was the Miliband gift that will keep on giving… The Tories must look for the divisions and make the most of them a) because they are most certainly real – always a plus – and b) because it’s history repeating itself. We are in this hole at least in part because of the shamefully dysfunctional Blair/Brown relationship. Labour’s Two Eds dislike each other and each thinks he is smarter than the other. The Conservatives should imagine in some detail how it would work if they actually won…and share that vision with the British public.”
Other than what might come out at the Brooks and Coulson trial, the Tories other favourite topic of parlour conversation is Boris, and Coulson does not disappoint there either. The Mayor’s card is marked, it seems. Coulson reckons Boris wants the job but won’t tarnish the brand by moving against the PM.
“Number Ten’s Boris strategy should be simple. Support his good ideas, advise privately on the bad ones, but only engage publicly if absolutely necessary – and celebrate Boris’ considerable successes. Boris Johnson desperately wants to be prime minister and David has known that fact longer than most. When Boris asked me to pass on the message that he was keen to stand as mayor of London, David responded, “Well, if he wins, he’ll want my job next.” If proof were needed that our PM is a man untroubled by self doubt, it came in his next sentence, “So I think he’ll be a bloody brilliant candidate for us”… Stabbing David, or anyone else for that matter, in the back would be distinctly off brand – just not very Boris. He would much prefer to see David fail miserably in the election and ride in on his bike to save party and country.”
A little revenge, perhaps, for Boris saying at the height of the phone-hacking scandal that he had warned Dave and George off hiring the former Screws editor. You have to wonder what might be in that diary…
This paragraph from an online case report contains a striking miss by the person whose job it was to anonymise the Court of Appeal’s recent judgement regarding the paternity of a child born out of wedlock to someone “in high public office”:
54. The “fade factor” relied on by Mr Price carries little weight in this case. First, much that has been published by the media in relation to the claimant’s paternity remains available online. It is also included in Just Boris, a book written by Sonia Purnell.
“There’s a man called Ken Livingstone, I think he has something to do with London. You must get rid of him.”
Dodgy Darius Guppy, last heard asking Boris for the address of a Screws hack he wanted to give a bit of a kicking, has let rip at Eddie Mair in a great scoop for the Speccie this afternoon:
“And then Mr Mair attacks the Mayor of London for agreeing, when in his mid twenties, to supply a friend – me – with the address of a News of the World journalist so that the journalist in question can be given the hiding which most of us secretly admit such people deserve.
Boris has tried the political equivalent of getting his dad over when the other boys in the playground are being mean to him. Stanley Johnson has let rip with Nick Ferrari on LBC this morning:
“I thought Eddie Mair’s interview was about the most disgusting piece of journalism I’ve listened to for a very long time.
You would have thought bicycling Tories would have learned their lesson about shouty x-rated rants in public. Boris has been accused of swearing at workers on a building site in south London. Unlike Thrasher, BoJo had his excuse sorted immediately. Apparently he took a wrong turn on his bike, ended up on a building site and was left “cursing his own stupidity”.[…]