In the summer of 1990 Boris Johnson was The Telegraph’s Brussels correspondent. In the now famous taped conversation between him and Darius Guppy, just months before the latter would be busted in a £1.8 million insurance scam, Boris conspired to have a News of the World journalist, Stuart Collier, beaten up on behalf of his old School chum. In the tape Boris says he’ll obtain Collier’s phone number and then get an address. As the UK has never published reverse directories how would Boris achieve this?
Well blagging of course. It had to be via the police or a British Telecom staffer. Most likely would be a copper, as it was standard practice on Fleet Street back then to take advantage of the fact that the Police National Computer did not record such inquiries unless an individual was flagged as a person of interest. BT on the other hand much tighter internal controls. Boris displayed both the knowledge and intent to blag, though there is no evidence that he actually supplied the requested information, despite saying he would. Perhaps The Telegraph’s leading columnist would like to explain what the public interest angle was on this one…
Dead Tree Press
Mayor of London