Politics

Minister says he has ‘no idea where Boris Johnson is’, despite PM sitting metres away


A Tory minister was caught out live on television as he claimed not to know where Boris Johnson was – before the camera panned to show the prime minister sitting just metres away.

Speaking to Good Morning Britain from the Conservative Party conference in Manchester, policing minister Kit Malthouse was asked whether the prime minister was honest all of the time, to which he responded: “In my experience, yes he is.

But presenter Susanna Reid challenged his answer, asking: “Are you having to say that because he’s sitting right next to you?”

Mr Malthouse claimed “No, I don’t know, I have no idea where he is” as he shook his head and swept his hand behind him as he apparently looked for the prime minister.

But he was instantly caught out as the camera panned across the room to show Mr Johnson sitting just metres away as he took part in an interview with Times Radio’s chief political commentator Tom Newton Dunn.

GMB host Alastair Campbell, a former Labour spokesman and press secretary, can be heard saying, “There he is, he’s talking to Tom Newton Dunn, ex of The Sun, now of Times Radio, one of Rupert [Murdoch]’s people – and he won’t talk to us,” as Mr Malthouse concedes: “Oh, he’s right there.”

Policing minister Kit Malthouse claims to have ‘no idea’ where Boris Johnson is as prime minister sits just metres away from him

(ITV/Good Morning Britain)

In an apparent attempt to regain composure, the minister asked: “Is there any chance we can talk about something of substance and importance to the British people today?

“I realise, Alastair, you’re there to try and make some kind of political point and I’m not sure everybody would regard you as an impartial observer of these matters.

“But if you want to talk about crime or violence or some of those issues, I’m presenting myself to talk to you about that.”

Mr Johnson has not appeared on the ITV programme for more than four years but took part in interviews with BBC Breakfast, BBC Radio 4’s Today programme, LBC and Times Radio on Tuesday.

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