ANNA MIKHAILOVA: Godfather Boris Johnson bows out

ANNA MIKHAILOVA: Godfather Boris Johnson bows out – and sets out how to make a killing

Boris Johnson has said his favourite film scene is the ‘multiple retribution killings at the end of The Godfather’, where Mafia boss Michael Corleone takes revenge on his enemies as he rises to power.

However, Johnson’s time in office has been more reminiscent of The Godfather – Part III and its final scenes that mark the mobster’s downfall and death. As capos Sunak and Javid knifed their boss on Tuesday evening, Theresa May was at the Royal Opera House settling in for Cavalleria Rusticana, which provides the backdrop for Corleone’s last scenes.

The former PM was among the great and good, including Tory donor Sir Rocco Forte and ex-BP boss Lord (John) Browne.

Michael Gove was briefly there but left as soon as he heard of the Chancellor’s and Health Secretary’s resignations.

Johnson’s time in office has been more reminiscent of The Godfather – Part III and its final scenes that mark the mobster’s downfall and death

The next morning, Gove phoned Johnson and told him he should quit, before going to Downing Street to help him prepare for Prime Minister’s Questions. He advised Johnson on lines to rebut Sir Keir Starmer’s predictable calls for him to quit… but with soldiers deserting in droves, Johnson finally fell on his sword and retreated to his Downing Street flat and its granny-chic hideousness of Lulu Lytle’s £200,000 refurbishment.

Now we await a Resignation Honours List for those who kissed the ring of Godfather Boris as he bows out and seeks opportunities to feather his nest.

On the day after Johnson announced his resignation, Lytle shut her shop for the day – to have a party. The interiors boss, who attended Boris’s infamous lockdown birthday ‘event’ – was celebrating 25 years of her company, Soane Britain. Not exactly a Levelling Up business: it flogs £7,000 rugs and £6,000 lampshades. It’s not clear whether a 25th birthday cake was involved.

The drinks were on Sunak as he began his bid to unite the warring Tory families as ‘the boss of bosses’. His campaign website is ‘promoted by Lord Smith of Hindhead’, the self-declared ‘king of clubs’ after the death of Peter Stringfellow in 2018. Smith heads the Association of Conservative Clubs, which lobbies for clubland interests, and chairs Best Bar None, a drinks industry awards scheme.

The Tory peer is also vice-chair of an All-Party Parliamentary Groups (APPGs) for Beer as well as Betting and Gaming.

The Beer APPG accepts regular funding from drinks giant Diageo, which, by complete coincidence, featured in Sunak’s launch video with shots of a Diageo trainee and Sunak’s trip to the company’s Guinness HQ. Surrounding the famously teetotal Sunak with associates from the drinks and gambling world is hardly the squeaky-clean image his allies want to promote. Last night his team said it’s ‘totally irrelevant’.

Now we await a Resignation Honours List for those who kissed the ring of Godfather Boris as he bows out and seeks opportunities to feather his nest

Boris Johnson has said his favourite film scene is the ‘multiple retribution killings at the end of The Godfather’, where Mafia boss Michael Corleone (second from left) takes revenge on his enemies as he rises to power

Kemi Badenoch says she has thrown her hat into the ring because ‘I want to tell the truth. It’s the truth that will set you free’. Unless you’re a journalist. When HuffPost reporter Nadine White went to Badenoch with questions pre-publication, as is standard and good practice in our trade, the Saffron Walden MP responded by tweeting that White had been ‘creepy and bizarre’. Another truth-teller in the making.

Much mirth over Government jobs for arch-loyalists including Peter Bone and Andrea Jenkyns in the zombie Cabinet. But it’s also worth noting who didn’t get a promotion. Conor Burns, despite his key role in Operation Save Big Dog, being one of Johnson’s oldest allies and fierce lobbying for a seat at the table, was not picked for any of the many vacancies last week. It’s certainly nothing to do with what one Cabinet Minister described as Burns’s ‘complicated’ relationship with propriety.

They put him in place. They supported him. They defended him. They found reasons to stay in office even though they knew – and told us all privately – that he was a wrong ’un [..] They’re tainted. And they all have to go.’

So said Labour MP Chris Bryant about the Cabinet yesterday. A comment equally applicable to Sir Keir Starmer and most of his front bench, who are now so keen to attack Jeremy Corbyn.

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