The one consistent strand in Johnson’s life is that he has never cared for anyone save himself. He sooner or later betrays every woman, group and cause with which he associates. Because I have been fiercely critical of Johnson for a decade and more, I am sometimes said to hate him. This is not so. When I wrote a memoir about my time as a newspaper editor, I included his picture in a spread of “favourite colleagues”.
Some months ago The Washington Post telephoned me to demand, accusingly, what I could say in my own defence for having once employed Johnson. I responded that he is a brilliant journalist. It seems reasonable to judge a reporter and entertainer by wholly different standards from those that should be applied to a prime minister.
6 February 2022 – Max Hastings, Johnson's editor at the Daily Telegraph, former editor at the London Evening Standard, and historian