Boris Johnson’s dialog with Sue Gray in a gathering that by no means occurred | John Crace

Boris Johnson: Hello. This shouldn’t be Boris Johnson.

Sue Gray: In which case, I’m not Sue Gray.

Johnson: Excellent. I’d like to rearrange a gathering with you …

Gray: Go proper forward, then. I’ve acquired my diary open.

Johnson: Actually, what I’d prefer to occur is so that you can put the telephone down after which name me again in a few days with a time and date.

Gray: Why? It appears totally pointless.

Johnson: It’s so I can faux that it was you who requested for the assembly. That manner it seems as if I’m not attempting to intervene in your report. Which I’m not, clearly.

Gray: Obviously. Well, really I’m going to inform the reality …

Johnson: Why would anybody wish to try this?

Gray: … which is that you simply have been the one who requested for a gathering.

Johnson: There’s no have to play politics.

Gray: You’re doing my head in. You can save that crap for the Daily Mail. And to your helpful idiots – Nadhim Zahawi and Simon Clarke come to thoughts – who will probably be despatched out on the media spherical to inform your “true story” about our assembly that can disintegrate inside hours.

Johnson: I’ll take my possibilities …

Gray: Mmm. I ponder who everybody will imagine. Me otherwise you and your ministers? That’s a toughie. Are you certain you don’t wish to have a rethink? Thought not. So what would you like?

Johnson: It’s like this … the Met have simply advised me they’re about to conclude their investigations into the No 10 events and I’m going to get off virtually completely scot-free.

Gray: So how did you handle that? Did you pay a bribe?

Johnson: I didn’t have to! Though Tory donors have been all lined as much as fork out if crucial. It turned out the police weren’t that within the investigation as soon as they have been advised to bugger off and cease bothering me. Just needed to write “no comment” on my questionnaire. So I acquired away with simply the one positive for the occasion that was hardly a celebration and the Old Bill simply fined a complete lot of junior workers to make it appear like that they had completed one thing.

Gray: What now then?

Johnson: We want to speak timings …

Gray: No we don’t. Because we’ve already agreed the timings. Once the police have concluded their investigation, I publish the report quickly after.

Johnson: Not these timings. The timings of a few of my appearances on the events. To make it look as if I simply dropped in. Like you’d for a piece occasion. Which the events undoubtedly have been.

Gray: You actually don’t get it, do you? I can’t be nobbled.

Johnson: Come on, Sue. Be a sport. Donnez-moi un break as President Macron would possibly say. At least don’t publish any of the images of me getting pissed with the troops. Especially not those of me elevating my glass and proposing a toast to Lee Cain. It was simply my luck that my face was the one one within the images that wasn’t blurred.

Gray: I feel you’ll discover ITV News has already acquired maintain of these.

Johnson: What about a number of the others then? Surely we will come to a deal over them? I don’t thoughts you publishing pics of No 10 staffers, however I’d slightly you saved me out of it. And undoubtedly not the one the place I’m doing vodka photographs and breaking Wilf’s swing. Carrie nonetheless doesn’t know that was me. I advised her it was Party Marty. Plus when you might keep away from those the place persons are throwing up, that might be a assist. We don’t need the general public to assume it was one lengthy Ibiza rave throughout lockdown.

Gray: You don’t get it, do you? You disgust me. You inform lies to the nation and parliament and get away with it again and again. And you’ll most likely get away with it once more. The police may need been craven halfwits, however I’m not. So I’m going to publish all the things. The images clearly present you attended a number of events in Downing Street and the general public deserves to know the reality.

Johnson: Anyone might be ambushed by six bottles of wine, a bottle of gin and a bowlful of crisps. So don’t be like this. We’ve all had a drink …

Gray: We haven’t really.

Johnson: OK, then are you able to simply tone down a few of your remarks within the introduction? Make it sound like there was clear, sober management at No 10 and that it was only a few junior members of workers who have been breaking the foundations. Over and over once more. And the one motive it saved occurring was that I used to be so busy going to work occasions that I didn’t discover. In reality we have been all working so onerous, nobody can blame us if issues acquired a wee bit vigorous. I’m certain the identical was occurring in hospitals the place the docs and nurses have been knocking again the hand sanitiser.

Gray: Have you completed but?

Johnson: Not fairly. It’s taken as learn there’s going to be fall guys in all this. So when you might finger Simon Case for me, that might be an enormous assist. Though clearly he’ll turn out to be a member of the Lords or one thing when the mud settles. As will you, when you play your playing cards proper …

Gray: We’re completed now.

Johnson: Just for the file, this assembly by no means occurred.

Gray: It’s sure to leak …

Johnson: In which case it’s a public assembly that was so above board, its contents have to stay secret.

Gray: Goodbye, prime minister.

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