Has the Tory press given up on Boris Johnson?


usy as he is, the prime minister, even as a former journalist, probably doesn’t have much time personally to check out his media coverage. This is probably just as well, because lately the right-wing, traditionally Tory, press in Britain, which is to say almost all of it, has turned a bit nasty.  

Take yesterday’s early splash on MailOnline: “EXCLUSIVE: In the week Boris told a battered Britain it was in for another six months of Covid winter misery, his partner Carrie Symonds enjoys five-star Italian holiday at £600-a-night Lake Como hotel with son Wilfred and three friends”. Shades of “crisis what crisis?” there and the coming winter of discontent for the premier as a no-deal Brexit and Covid adds to the general sense of a complacent government – prime minister especially – that has lost control of events. Not what you’d expect, maybe, from that quarter.

In fact the Daily Mail has been after Boris Johnson for some time. Back in May, during the Cummings affair, the paper asked of Johnson and Cummings “what planet are they on?”, adding: “Neither man has displayed a scintilla of contrition for this breach of trust. Do they think we are fools?”. The Daily Mail also revealed the location of Johnson’s Scottish holiday hideaway, which cant have helped relations. The Mail on Sunday, it is fair to say, is more supportive towards the prime minister, though that may be scant consolation for the scorn of old friends – and colleagues.


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