Boris Johnson manages to get attacked by his former PR adviser

Written by David Singleton on 8 August 2018 in Diary

Even the usually-loyal Katie Perrior appears to have decided that enough is enough.

As Boris Johnson continues to make the headlines for his comments about Muslim women who wear the burka, the dividing lines have not been entirely shocking.

Those defending Johnson have included many of the former foreign secretary’s Vote Leave allies who could be expected to heartily support a leadership bid.

“Boris has raised an issue, it’s in the silly season there is not much news about and it has been blown out of all proportion,” said Brexiteer Andrew Bridgen last night. “People do not want a vision of our country thrust down their throat either by me, by Boris or by anybody else.”

Meanwhile those Tories going on the attack have tended to be Remainers, such as Brandon Lewis, Sayeeda Warsi, Anna Soubry, Heidi Allen, Jonathan Djanogly and Alistair Burt. And George Osborne via today’s Evening Standard editorial. It asks: “Is this the real Mr Johnson? Has he really lost the generous instincts that once won him the capital? Or has he lost his bearings in his fraught pursuit of the highest office?”

The fact that Leave-supporting Tory MPs are standing by Johnson and Remain-backing Tory MPs are savaging him should come as a surprise to nobody in Westminster. More notable is the fact that even Johnson’s former PR adviser, the usually super-loyal Katie Perrior, appears to have finally had enough of her old boss.

“The Boris I know is liberal and respectful of all different communities. He loves the great melting point that is London and recognises what diverse cultures bring to our capital city,” says Perrior, who helped Johnson to become London mayor before heading into Number 10 as Theresa May’s communications director.

“I regret he made these comments because I think they are divisive at a time when tensions are already high even though I am no fan of the burka.”

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