Johnson ‘thought about sending Sunak foul-mouthed video over resignation’

Boris Johnson considered sending Rishi Sunak a foul-mouthed video after he resigned and triggered his downfall, the former PM’s former director of communications has claimed.

Guto Harri, who advised Mr Johnson from February to September last year, said Mr Johnson believed Mr Sunak’s decision to resign last summer was “the great betrayal of all time”, and Mr Johnson thought about sending him a video calling him a “c***”.

Sources close to the former prime minister dismissed the claims as “simply inaccurate” when approached by Sky News.

Mr Johnson’s downfall was triggered when Sajid Javid resigned as health secretary and Rishi Sunak as chancellor in the wake of the former prime minister’s handling of the Chris Pincher affair.

At the time, Mr Sunak said he was quitting because “the public rightly expect government to be conducted properly, competently and seriously.”

Their resignations prompted a swathe of other colleagues to quit, forcing Mr Johnson to resign.

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Mr Harri – who has made a series of controversial claims on his new podcast for Global, Unprecedented – recounted Mr Johnson’s reaction to Mr Sunak’s resignation.

He said: “Rishi walked out. Didn’t even tell Boris he was going to go. Basically, he went public with a resignation. And a few days later, Boris found a little video on the internet that expressed what he wanted to basically say to Rishi.

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“He didn’t send it, but he sent it to me and said, ‘thinking of sending this to Rishi’.”

Mr Harri claimed the video contained the words: “You’re a c***.”

“So, there you have it,” he continued. “If you really want to know how Boris Johnson felt about Rishi Sunak in the immediate aftermath of his toppling, and the great betrayal of all time as he sees it, there you have it.”

Mr Johnson has been thrust back into the limelight in recent months amid a parliamentary investigation into whether he lied to MPs about parties in Downing Street during the COVID pandemic.

The privileges committee, which is investigating whether Mr Johnson misled MPs about partygate, is expected to publish its findings later this month.

The former PM has been critical of Sue Gray, the civil servant who led the initial probe into whether parties took place in Number 10 during the pandemic, after it emerged that she was set to join the Labour Party as Sir Keir Starmer’s chief of staff.

Mr Harri also claimed that Mr Johnson believed Ms Gray was planning an “orgy of pain, abuse and humiliation”.

“Something was happening to Boris that he’d never had to deal with before,” he said. “He was in real trouble. Big trouble. Conservative MPs in his words had become psychotic.

“The police were trawling all over partygate and an inquiry led by an – until then, at least – obscure civil servant called Sue Gray – now a household name of course and a hero of the left – was planning what he described then as an orgy of pain, abuse and humiliation.”

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Last week Mr Harri hit the headlines when he claimed that Mr Johnson had a “bit of a showdown” with King Charles over the government’s controversial policy of sending asylum seekers to Rwanda.

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He alleged that Mr Johnson confronted the King – “essentially squaring up” to him – after the King described the Rwanda asylum policy as “appalling”.

“They did have a bit of a showdown, but for the reason that the man who is now King criticised what was A, extremely popular government policy, B, very central government policy and C, on the eve of the two of them going to the very place at the heart of the story, Rwanda,” Mr Harri said.

“So it wasn’t a fight. Obviously they didn’t square up to get in the ring. But Boris, rightly, challenged the unelected royal at the time.”

Mr Harri also suggested that Mr Sunak would have been reshuffled out of his role as chancellor had Mr Johnson stayed in office due to the “fundamental disagreement of policy between the two of them”.

Sources close to Mr Johnson said: “These accounts are simply inaccurate. Boris Johnson has had nothing to do with this podcast, had no knowledge of it and deplores any attempt to report such conversations in public.”