"Boris Johnson has to embrace the truth": PM's former boss questions his honesty

31 May 2020, 11:50 | Updated: 1 June 2020, 11:58

Max Hastings, former employer of Boris Johnson critical of PM

By Seán Hickey

Although Boris Johnson sees himself as a character on par with Churchill, the PM reminds his former boss of Alan Partridge.

Max Hastings is a former editor-in-chief of the Daily Telegraph and was the boss of the current Prime Minister Boris Johnson during this time. He was speaking to Andrew Castle about the Prime Minister's reaction to the coronavirus crisis, where he didn't shower his former employee in praise.

"Everybody, including me wants Johnson to succeed as Prime Minister" Mr Hastings said, but told Andrew that the PM has a lot of room for improvement. "He's got to learn to embrace the truth a way that frankly he's never done in my experience."

The ex-Telegraph editor told Andrew that in his opinion, Boris Johnson is "one of the best journalists of our generation" but his ability to tell the truth needs more practice, referencing the PM's track record on the coronavirus pandemic.

"Only a Tory party that has completely lost its marbles could think that somebody who was a brilliant columnist in Brussels and so on is appropriate to be Prime Minister," Mr Hastings added.

Boris Johnson
Boris Johnson. Picture: PA

Andrew found himself jumping to the defence of Mr Johnson. "The guy was in intensive care for goodness sake, I think that must be a great shock to the system" he said.

Mr Hastings wasn't holding back in his criticisms. He argued that the PM "was showing all these signs before lockdown began" adding that "he wasn't attending cobra meetings for goodness sake."

"I don't think he's doing terribly well" Mr Hastings said. Andrew wanted to know if Boris Johnson has lost confidence since becoming PM, where his former boss insisted that "he's frightened stiff."

Contrary to his belief that the PM is terrified, Mr Hastings maintained that Mr Johnson takes himself at too high of a regard and his track record has been proof so far. "Johnson believes he's up with Churchill" the former editor said, "I'm afraid he's more Alan Partridge."

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