Watch: Boris gets brutal grilling on Marr show

11:13 am - March 24th 2013

by Sunny Hundal    

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Boris Johnson appeared on the Andrew Marr show today, and faced some tough grilling from Eddie Mair.

The interview is all the more striking since Boris rarely faces tough questions from the national media.

[Note: I’m afraid the video doesn’t work on mobile devices yet. We’ll replace it with a YouTube copy when we get it)

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Sunny Hundal is editor of LC. Also: on Twitter, at Pickled Politics and Guardian CIF.
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Reader comments

Boris should take this as a practice run because if he wants to become leader of the Tories he is going to be grilled and analysed heavily over these things.

I saw that. I’m not a Johnson supporter particularly, but I though Eddie Mair was a bit OTT in his questioning.
So he got sacked by the Sunday Times once.
So he told some fibs about something another time.
A phone conversation he had with Darius Guppy was recorded by someone and Boris had said something very dodgy. Do we know the context? Do we know if he meant it or was just placating his friend?
Basicly I’m not a fan of this ambush kind of journalism.
I though Mair was more genteel than that.

It was super.

I have seen other politicians get tougher questions.
I don’t think he was ambushed, just ill prepared for tough questions. Normally he gets an easy ride from his mates in the media.

If this is all the dirt the beeb can find on Boris they need to raise their game.

“permission to obfuscate?” hahahaha! i hope that gets repeatedly quoted back to him as a catchphrase from now on!

Delightful, and about time too.

8. white trash

Apparently the idiot has the cheek to fancy himself as Cincinnatus!

In his dreams.

And this appears to be a long-running fantasy too:

Here he is in 2009,

And again in 2013,

The man must be Grade 1 delusional.

damon – for once I’m actually inclined to agree with you. I’ve just watched it and I didn’t think it was such a killer interview, and I thought BJ’s response was understandable.

That’s terrible
How dare he Expose the lovely Boris as a lying piece of shit.

Meh – I’m with Sarah. There was no killer blow landed on Boris, his responses seem reasonable to me and all in all, it wasn’t the car crash I was told to expect.

12. the a&e charge nurse

[8] ‘I’ve just watched it and I didn’t think it was such a killer interview, and I thought BJ’s response was understandable’ – understandable, but only if we attribute Bojo with the ability of a 5 year old to understand the difference between right and wrong.

Nowadays anybody who expects politicos to think of anything apart from their own career, or the needs of powerful lobbyists are regarded as rather quaint.

About time Boris was put under some proper scrutiny. We won’t get it from Andrew Gilligan, and the usual suspects. Leyton Orient fans sang “Boris is a wanker.” on Saturday as the so called free market Cossack handed over a shed load of tax payers money to West Ham. That is the West Ham owned by wealthy pornographers.

But Boris like Cameron and their Eton chums just love giving tax payer bail outs to the rich.

Excellent BBC journalism. Given every chance to defend himself he was unable to do so effectively. No wonder he spends all his time sucking up to the Murdoch press.

Nice to see that we’re now in favour of politicians being asked searching questions about their private life on the Andrew Marr show. We used to get rather aerated about it, if I remember correctly.

@ 8

I’ve been saying this for years. He has Romanesque delusions of grandeur.


I’d like to know what you mean by the word “reasonable”. Bozza looked uncomfortable throughout that exchange. I don’t know how anyone can think otherwise… unless they’re very poor at reading body language.

Putting people on the spot on live TV is a bit of a cheap trick IMO, and can be used against people you might support too.

The Labour candidate in the recent Eastleigh by-election was dogged with questions about him having written that he wished Mrs Thatcher had been killed by the Brighton bomb.
So what that he did? He reflected later (in that same book where he had said this) that maybe that was a bit harsh etc and that he didn’t actually wish her dead, but for the headline searching journalists just wanting to put the boot into Labour, it made a jucy little smear.

Darius Guppy was confiding in Boris in a private phone call about being really stitched up by some guy from the News of the World and that he ”wanted him beaten up”.
So maybe Boris agreed that yes, the guy needed a serious kicking, but might just have been trying to commiserate with his friend over the telephone. It was a private conversation – and nothing ever came of it.
I’ve gone off Eddie Mair a bit since yesterday.

Sarah, I bet we agree on things far more than you like to admit 🙂

18. white trash

“Putting people on the spot on live TV is a bit of a cheap trick IMO, and can be used against people you might support too.”

Not at all. In these days of fakery and expert image management bs, putting people on the spot is the only way to have a hope of seeing the real person beneath.

Likewise, if people I might support (or those I might be brought to believe I should support) are shitbags then I want to know about it, not have it kept hidden.

Heard some of this interview on radio 4 this morning, it sounded hilarious.

Good on Posh Ed, for once.

It seemed to me that Boris could have handled that a whole lot better. The questions weren’t “hard hitting” in the least. When asked about lying to his boss about his affair, he said that conversation didn’t happen, but he needed to make the point more firmly, and call it a none story as it didn’t happen, IF he was telling the truth this time.
Also, when asked about his private conversation with his friend he should have been more assertive with his point that we all say things in our private conversations that mean nothing. When I divorced I had friends say they wanted to beat my ex husband up, I laughed and agreed, but never would have really wanted it, it was banter between friends, their way of supporting me.
And “making up a quote” I am sure we have all misquoted someone at one time or another, and especially confused time lines of when events actually happened, but Boris seemed totally unable to answer in a firm manner. His answer was adequate I thought, but was hardly even trying to get his answer across in a definitive way
I expected hard hitting journalism, and was hoping to see Boris smeared all over the studio. What I actually saw was someone not very good at making his point firmly enough, and allowing an interviewer to make him look weak. I was very disappointed in what I saw. I am not a supporter of Boris, nor his party, but that interview did nothing to colour my views on him, I was hoping it would.

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