Harry Mount, author of The Wit and Wisdom of Boris Johnson, visited Brunel University’s journalism department on Tuesday, 7th October.
The guest lecture came after the news that the Mayor of London was selected to stand as the Tory candidate MP for Uxbridge and South Ruislip in the 2015 general election.
Mr Mount made no delay in announcing, “there’s only one place Boris wants to go and that’s 10 Downing Street.”
He described the main facades of Johnson’s character as being: ‘false stupidity,’ ‘false ignorance’ and ‘flattery’ as well as possessing an ‘overwhelming desire to be funny.’
Boris famously declared he wouldn’t stand as MP whilst still being London’s Mayor, and Mount commented, “He couldn’t hope to do both jobs as well as he could on their own.”
Delving further into Boris’ character, Mount explained Johnson is ‘desperate to be PM’ and is ‘a smooth machine under the buffoonery.’
Mr Mount described his personal and professional relationship with the Mayor, whilst being Deputy Editor of the Comment pages at the Telegraph. Boris earned £250,000 a year writing a weekly column, which was often delivered late.
“He drove me nuts!” exclaimed Mr Mount, remembering their working relationship. However, he went on to say that “people will forgive him, because they like him.”
Describing Boris on the political stage, Mr Mount compared him to the Prime Minister. “David Cameron desperately plays down his privileged background whereas Boris plays it up.” His behaviour was depicted by Mount as being ‘un-English and more like a French politician’ with conservative small ‘c’ principles.
Although portraying the good and bad of Boris’ character, Mr Mount did not mention Johnson’s three affairs, most notably with Petronella Wyatt, until questioned by a member of the audience.
The Mayor is believed to have had three affairs and has fathered a child during one of them.
Turning the topic back to a positive, one of Mr Mount’s parting comments was that Boris “wouldn’t topple David Cameron in a million years.”