Wales politics

Boris Johnson 'busted' as a politician, says ex-media aide

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Media captionGuto Harri says Boris Johnson's heart was not really in the Brexit cause

Boris Johnson, now out of the Tory leadership race, seems "busted" as a politician, his ex-communications director as London Mayor and former BBC Wales journalist Guto Harri has said.

Mr Harri said Mr Johnson had "jumped the gun", run on the Brexit issue that "did not play to his strengths" and the plan had "backfired spectacularly".

He said his ex-boss would have to return to being a "national treasure".

Mr Harri helped the Remain campaign in Wales in the run-up to the referendum.


In a speech in London on Thursday - billed as his campaign launch - Mr Johnson said he did not believe he could provide the leadership or unity needed.

Mr Harri told the BBC his former boss "having embarked on the path" should have "seen it through" and run for the leadership.

"He must've come to the conclusion that there was sufficient doubt he may not get there," he said.

Mr Harri said he thinks Mr Johnson may have "sensed a backlash" against him by people who had previously liked him.

"Boris Johnson has always been a national treasure. He will have to go back to that, but as a politician, he is now busted and it's down to his miscalculation."

On referendum night Mr Harri told the BBC Wales referendum results programme on S4C Mr Johnson had transformed the Leave campaign from "a fundamentally negative one with a crew of slightly odd-looking people, social misfits, obsessed with a subject which others weren't interested in.

"Boris turned it into something which 'normal' people believed in," he said.

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