Heads up: Top comment and controversy

Transcript: Eddie Mair grills Boris Johnson on the Andrew Marr Show

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...

 

React Now

Read Next
The Lada became a symbol of Russia’s failure to keep up with Western economies  

Our sanctions will not cripple Russia. It is doing a lot of the dirty work itself

Hamish McRae
The Israeli ambassador to the US, Ron Dermer, has been dubbed ‘Bibi’s brain’  

Patrick Cockburn: Israel's propaganda machine is finally starting to misfire

Patrick Cockburn
Save the tiger: The animals bred for bones on China’s tiger farms

The animals bred for bones on China’s tiger farms

The big cats kept in captivity to perform for paying audiences and then, when dead, their bodies used to fortify wine
A former custard factory, a Midlands bog and a Leeds cemetery all included in top 50 hidden spots in the UK

A former custard factory, a Midlands bog and a Leeds cemetery

Introducing the top 50 hidden spots in Britain
Ebola epidemic: Plagued by fear

Ebola epidemic: Plagued by fear

How a disease that has claimed fewer than 2,000 victims in its history has earned a place in the darkest corner of the public's imagination
Chris Pratt: From 'Parks and Recreation' to 'Guardians of the Galaxy'

From 'Parks and Recreation' to 'Guardians of the Galaxy'

He was homeless in Hawaii when he got his big break. Now the comic actor Chris Pratt is Hollywood's new favourite action star
How live cinema screenings can boost arts audiences

How live cinema screenings can boost arts audiences

Broadcasting plays and exhibitions to cinemas is a sure-fire box office smash
Shipping container hotels: Pop-up hotels filling a niche

Pop-up hotels filling a niche

Spending the night in a shipping container doesn't sound appealing, but these mobile crash pads are popping up at the summer's biggest events
Native American headdresses are not fashion accessories

Feather dust-up

A Canadian festival has banned Native American headwear. Haven't we been here before?
Boris Johnson's war on diesel

Boris Johnson's war on diesel

11m cars here run on diesel. It's seen as a greener alternative to unleaded petrol. So why is London's mayor on a crusade against the black pump?
5 best waterproof cameras

Splash and flash: 5 best waterproof cameras

Don't let water stop you taking snaps with one of these machines that will take you from the sand to meters deep
The children were playing in the street with toy guns. The air strikes were tragically real

The air strikes were tragically real

The children were playing in the street with toy guns
Boozy, ignorant, intolerant, but very polite – The British, as others see us

Britain as others see us

Boozy, ignorant, intolerant, but very polite
Countries that don’t survey their tigers risk losing them altogether

Countries that don’t survey their tigers risk losing them

Jonathon Porritt sounds the alarm
How did our legends really begin?

How did our legends really begin?

Applying the theory of evolution to the world's many mythologies
Watch out: Lambrusco is back on the menu

Lambrusco is back on the menu

Naff Seventies corner-shop staple is this year's Aperol Spritz
A new Russian revolution: Cracks start to appear in Putin’s Kremlin power bloc

A new Russian revolution

Cracks start to appear in Putin’s Kremlin power bloc