Boris Johnson ‘hid in a bedroom’ to avoid having to talk to Iain Duncan Smith about Brexit, book claims

4 weeks ago 6

BORIS Johnson hid in a bedroom just days before he became PM to avoid having to talk to Sir Iain Duncan Smith about Brexit, an explosive new book claims.

It says the soon-to-be Premier and his aides pretended not to home while Sir Iain - who was meant to be chairing Mr Johnson's leadership campaign - banged on the front door unaware they had concealed themselves upstairs.

Brexit allies Boris Johnson and Sir Iain Duncan Smith in happier times

2

Brexit allies Boris Johnson and Sir Iain Duncan Smith in happier timesCredit: Getty Images - Getty

A tell-all tome from former government spin doctor Peter Cardwell published today will pour petrol on testy relations between the PM and his senior backbenchers such as Sir Iain.

Mr Cardwell lifts the lid on his long career in Whitehall serving as a bag carrier and media handler for a number of Cabinet Ministers before being brutally sacked last February.

And he recalls in detail a "farcical scene" in July 2019 in the week before Mr Johnson was crowned Tory leader and PM in his book The Secret Life of Special Advisers published today.

"Boris quickly ordered his entire team to race up the stairs to the first floor of the house and, well, hide"

Peter Cardwell

Sir Iain, a powerful backbench Brexit supporter and ex-Conservative leader himself, had been drafted into the campaign as chairman to help shore up mistrust of Mr Johnson by Tory MPs who thought he was "wobbly" on Brexit demands.

But Mr Cardwell writes “relations between chairman and candidate were not good.”

Boris Johnson leaving his posh Westminster HQ in July 2019

2

Boris Johnson leaving his posh Westminster HQ in July 2019

“IDS attempted to ring him several times to suggest they have a strategy discussion at the campaign’s headquarters at the home of Andrew Griffith, a Sky executive who later worked in Downing Street and became an MP in December 2019."

But “Boris ignored both calls and texts until finally IDS texted to say he was on his way round.”

HIDE AND SEEK

The book continues: “With IDS en route, Boris quickly ordered his entire team to race up the stairs to the first floor of the house and, well, hide from their alleged campaign chairman as he rapped on the door of the building, demanding to be let in.

“Eventually, IDS gave up knocking on the door and ringing the bell, and the Johnson team gingerly made their way downstairs again to their makeshift offices to resume their work.”

When approached by The Sun, Downing Street figures named in the book as being part of the hiding crew disputed Mr Cardwell’s version of events.

A senior Tory source said: "It seems this book is more a work of fiction than an autobiography but we wish Peter well.”

Mr Cardwell told The Sun "that's what we in the trade would describe as not a denial."

Sir Iain Duncan Smith declined to comment.

Live Blog

KEEP OUT

Boris warned he'll be booted out if he can't secure UK's future at crunch EU talks

DEAL BACK ON!

PM restarts Brexit talks after Brussels caves in & vows to compromise

BREXTRA TIME

This is the exact time Britain will leave the EU today

NO DEAL

Britain rejects more 'pointless' Brexit talks & says UK must get ready for No Deal

SMELL DAS KOFFEE

Germany needs Brexit deal more than ever, its foreign minister admits

SUMMIT OF DRAMA

EU leaders say Brexit talks will continue after EU boss forced to isolate

Read Entire Article