Boris Johnson retreated into a fridge as he sought to avoid a TV interview, amid rattled nerves at CCHQ over a narrowing in the opinion polls.
The prime minister was ambushed by the Good Morning Britain producer, Jonathan Swain, during a pre-dawn visit to Modern Milkman, a business in the Tory-held constituency of Pudsey, in Yorkshire.
When Swain first approached Johnson, he asked: “Morning prime minister, would you come on Good Morning Britain, prime minister?” Johnson’s aide can be heard mouthing “oh for f%$#’s sake” in response.
The show’s hosts, Piers Morgan and Susanna Reid, appeared shocked by the aide’s reaction. Swain goes on to say: “I’ve just had a reaction from one of the minders. OK, no need to push, thank you very much,” with Reid exclaiming: “The look on his face, that minder.” The aide was then named on air as the PM’s press secretary, Rob Oxley.
When Swain presses the prime minister, stating he was live on the show, Johnson replied “I’ll be with you in a second” and walked off, before Piers exclaims “he’s gone into the fridge”. Johnson walks inside a fridge stacked with milk bottles with his aides. One person can be heard saying: “It’s a bunker.”
Conservative sources subsequently insisted that Johnson was “categorically not hiding” in the fridge, from which Johnson emerged carrying a crate of milk bottles – but instead his aides were taking a moment to prep the PM for a separate, pre-agreed interview.
Tory aides have closely controlled the PM’s appearances since a chaotic day on Monday. Johnson pocketed a journalist’s phone during a TV interview rather than look at a picture of a four-year-old boy asleep on the floor at a Leeds hospital.
I’m not a big fan of Winston Churchill, but I think that I can conclusively state that BoJo is the least Churchillian person in the whole of the UK, and I am including Gary Glitter in that set.