He lies at the Times and got sacked by the really kind of tough Glaswegian editor at the time. Interestingly, there’s kind of a class thing going on here too that some people from less gilded background than Boris Johnson see through him. Charlie Wilson was certainly one of those and so he sacked him after making up all these quotes. But Max Hastings, very much in the same kind of class, public school boy, immediately picked him up as he thought this brilliant young person… So he was out of work for like five minutes or something.
And then with Michael Howard again it was sort of the more kind of punchy, non-public school boys, who saw through him, got fed up with the lies and he was consequently sacked. But again, didn’t really affect his career. A slight sort of hiatus maybe but no more than that.
26 January 2022 – Sonia Purnell, Johnson’s biographer and his former deputy in the Daily Telegraph’s Brussels bureau