Boris Johnson looked profoundly uncomfortable on this morning's Andrew Marr Show as stand-in host Eddie Mair grilled the Mayor of London on matters of personal integrity. Here's a transcript of one particularly bruising encounter:
EM: The Times let you go after you made up a quote. Why did you make up a quote?"
BJ: Well, erm, this, again, these are, these are big terms...what happened was, I can tell you the whole thing. Are you sure our viewers don't want to hear about? -
EM: If you don't want to talk about the made-up quote-
BJ: It was a long and lamentable story
EM: But you made a quote up-
BJ: What happened was I ascribed events that were supposed to have taken place before the death of Piers Gaveston to events that actually took place after the death of Piers Gaveston
EM: Yes, you made something up-
BJ: I mildly sandpapered something somebody had said and yes it was very embarrassing and I'm very sorry for it.
EM: Let me ask you about a barefaced lie. When you were in Michael Howard's team you denied to him you were having an affair, it turned out you were and he sacked you for that. Why did you lie to your party leader?
BJ: Again, on that I never had any conversation with Michael Howard about that matter
EM: You did lie-
BJ: I don't propose to go into all that again
EM: I don't blame you
BJ: I've been through that question a lot, watch the documentary, why don't we talk about something else?
EM: Well, this is about your integrity
[Mair questions Johnson on a phone conversation in which the Mayor of London gave the address of a journalist to his friend Darius Guppy, so that Guppy could have that journalist beaten up]
EM: What does that say about you Boris Johnson? Aren't you in fact making up quotes, lying to your party leader, wanting to be part of someone being physically assaulted...you're a nasty piece of work, aren't you?
BJ: All three things I would dispute
EM: You don't factually dispute them?
BJ: Well I do, if we had a long time I could explain that all three interpretations you're putting on those things aren't wholly fair.
EM: Even Conrad Black, your friend, a convicted fraudster, says he doesn't trust you completely...
BJ: I hadn't seen that Conrad had said that, but nonetheless I've got a great admiration for Conrad. He's a great journalist...