Today he is one of the Mail’s star Saturday columnists, delighting readers with his elegant, flamboyant use of language.
But yesterday the Covid inquiry was shocked to hear that Boris Johnson exclaimed: ‘F*** YOU Daily Mail!’ at the height of the pandemic.
His rather unparliamentary outburst came in a conversation about the ‘rule of six’ guidance on how many people could socialise at once.
Sir Patrick Vallance, the then chief scientific adviser, recorded in his diary in September 2020 that Mr Johnson said: ‘Everyone says rule of six so unfair, punishing the young but F*** YOU Daily Mail – look, this is all about stopping deaths. We need to tell them.’
Yesterday Mr Johnson apologised for his strong words and said that he appeared to have been responding to unfavourable coverage by the Mail of the rules on socialising.
Sir Patrick Vallance, the then chief scientific adviser, recorded in his diary in September 2020 that Boris Johnson said: ‘F*** YOU Daily Mail’
Yesterday Mr Johnson apologised and said that he appeared to have been responding to unfavourable coverage by the Mail (Stock Image)
He said: ‘This is September… you can see the risk that the virus is going to start taking off again.
‘I’m extremely worried… it looks to me as though what I’m saying here is that the priority is to stop death.
‘Just for the avoidance of doubt, I don’t think that this is meant to be a general criticism of that great organ of the Press, the Daily Mail.
‘There had presumably been something that they had said that had wound me up about the rule of six or whatever.’
As for what may have been winding him up more recently, you can read his latest opinions in the Mail tomorrow.