Former Spin Doctor: "Boris Johnson Makes My Flesh Creep"

30 September 2019, 17:41

A former spin doctor and journalist told Eddie Mair that Boris Johnson is not trying to "set an example" and many women are now fed up.

Jo Phillips said: "He makes my flesh creep."

She continued: "He's seen by some as a 'loveable rogue' but in my view, and I think in the view of many women, that sort of 'oh he's a bit of a lad, it's just banter' is an excuse that's worn very, very thing over the last few years.

Particularly when it comes to sexual and inappropriate behaviour."

She added: "That sort of 'oh, it's just a bit of fun' is not actually very sensible or very useful and I think it's something women have had enough of."

Former Spin Doctor: "Boris Johnson Makes My Flesh Creep"
Former Spin Doctor: "Boris Johnson Makes My Flesh Creep". Picture: PA

Eddie Mair asked Phillips, who was Paddy Ashdown's press secretary, if she might feel different if his politics were more in line with hers.

She responded: "It's nothing to do with the political party but everything to do with public office."

Phillips continued: "When you are in the position that he is now where he is failing to answer questions about the relationship he had with Jennifer Arcuri and whether that relationship led to the improper use of public money or her going onto publicly trips, I think that becomes a whole different thing.It's about propriety in public office."

She then asked: "How does this play with young women in the Conservative party?

Is this the sort of behaviour that you would like if your daughter was in the room or was a young journalist?"

She said: "We've all moved on a lot from the sort of behaviour or the sort of comedy or the humour that was once acceptable 20 or 30 years ago. We now expect more.

Boris Johnson is not trying to set an example."

She continued: "There is something about that perma-smirk. He really doesn't care"