The Rise and Fall of Boris Johnson (2024) s01e04 Episode Script

Episode 4

This programme
contains strong language
December 2019,
Boris delivers the Tories
a thumping victory
Say oven Say oven-ready.
Oven-ready! LAUGHTER
Danny Kruger! Well done, mate.
..with new Conservative MPs
elected across swathes of Britain.
You won this for us.
No, well done. Thank you.
It was ecstatic.
Some places we hadn't
won literally for 100 years.
It had happened when you're
nine years into a government,
and he encapsulated
that sense of change.
Happy Christmas, everybody!
I'm off, I'm off, I'm off.
The first cabinet could be
described as an almost giddy affair.
At that point, it was
shining bright morning.
MUSIC: Here Comes
Santa Claus by Gene Autry
There were a lot of people
in cabinet that maybe
had never expected
to be in cabinet.
Oh, Boris was Boris-like.
Boris is always positive.
That's the thing to remember.
How many new hospitals
are we gonna build?
ALL: 40. Correct.
How many more nurses
are we gonna hire?
ALL: 50,000.
Yeah, you know the answers.
How many more police?
ALL: 30,000. You are correct.
Saj has passed me
some good economic news
that unemployment is up again.
Un, uh Employment.
Employ Employment is up again.
We've got this great majority.
We're gonna get the Brexit
deal through Parliament.
We have a proud
dad. Your boy done it.
Well, I'm gobsmacked. We've
got a proud sister here, too.
You're an ardent
Remainer. Uh, yes, OK.
You're in a weird position. Your
brother has won a general election
by campaigning massively
against what you feel.
Are you all spending
Christmas together?
Who knows what's
gonna happen? OK.
You must know as a family
where you're having Christmas!
BORIS JOHNSON: Hello, folks. I
hope you've all had a fantastic Christmas.
As we say goodbye to 2019,
let's also bid farewell
to the division,
the rancour, the uncertainty
which has held this
country back for too long.
Together let's make 2020
the start of something special.
On New Year's Day,
I was reading the
Times at home in Suffolk,
and I saw this little side
bar story that there was outbreak of
pneumonia cases in
a place called Wuhan in China.
So, I asked for a briefing
when I got back into the office
and carried on
with my breakfast.
Mid-January, I watch
a film called Contagion,
and this film was based on all
the best evidence of what actually
might happen in a pandemic.
It was a sort of scientifically
credible film, if you like.
And I remember
watching it thinking,
"God, if this happens,
"it's an absolute disaster,
not just for Britain,
"but for civilisation."
Hi, Mr Hancock.
Are the Chinese sharing
all the information we need?
Um, we'll be We're
going into Cobra now,
and we'll be making a
statement afterwards.
You go in, and I was sat
at the top of this long table,
ten people on each side,
and it's a very
serious, sombre place.
On the walls, there are
these screens where they type
the agreed action
points as you debate.
Has any action been
decided, minister?
Do the public need
to be concerned?
Boris, when I briefed him
directly, he was across it,
but for some reason
that did not cascade into
the Downing Street team at all.
And I can't but suppose why.
Good morning, Mr Cummings.
Are you now in charge?
Is this a complete takeover?
Boris's chief adviser
is Dominic Cummings.
Good morning,
nice to see you all.
Widely acknowledged to oversee
all areas of government policy.
MATT HANCOCK: The strangest part
was that everybody else was carrying on
with their normal lives.
The streets were full.
I remember going to PMQs,
and every single question
was about something else.
And standing there thinking,
"This is all completely irrelevant."
Will the Prime Minister tell
us what the Environment Bill
will do for wetlands
and wildlife?
And will he come
and visit our famous
flamboyance of flamingos?
Hear, hear! LAUGHTER
Uh, Mr Speaker, I look forward
to seeing her famous
flamboyant flamingos at
the earliest opportunity.
Uh, but I can tell her that our
environment plan does place
I felt I was sort of waving,
"Over here, there's a big
issue coming down the track."
But the machine
was not interested.
You know, they wouldn't let me
make a statement in Parliament.
There was a total focus on getting
Brexit done at the end of January.
BIG BEN CHIMES 31st of January.
Brexit day.
And after years of bitter
arguments across the nation,
Britain formally leaves
the European Union.
We once again will be able
to find our place in the world.
He'd never have even
been PM without me.
Never got a word
of thanks from him.
Go and live in Europe if
you want to wave that flag.
Losers! Losers!
Brexit Day, a good moment.
It's important that
it's done and dusted,
that Brexit has been delivered.
Prime Minister, if you
could lean in a little bit,
that would be lovely. Thank you.
It had obviously been
Brexit in the run-up to
the end of January.
All the excitement that goes on.
architects of Vote Leave,
including the Prime Minister,
will be toasting Brexit.
Their victory is complete.
It's a masterpiece!
Hello, good evening. The
Prime Minister, Boris Johnson,
and his partner Carrie Symonds,
have announced that
they're expecting a baby
and they're going
to get married.
The start of March, Italy
is in all sorts of trouble.
Its health system
was overwhelmed.
Every three Guinnesses
we will just disinfect.
You saw Covid
starting to emerge.
Most people couldn't really
comprehend what it would
look like or even believe
what it potentially
could look like.
It could be just a wee
bit of hype at the moment.
Boris is essentially
a people-pleaser.
This is Cheltenham Racecourse.
Now, organisers say that
the event is going ahead
with government backing.
If I stand for one thing,
it's really that
people often do best
if they're allowed to get on
with running their own lives.
If you don't bully them
and boss them around,
and you give them choice,
then you're going to
have a happy society.
You saw this battle
between the libertarian
and the person that had
to make some really
difficult decisions.
You got the feel that
the libertarian in
him was winning out.
Um, there's been a bit
of confusing advice about
things like shaking hands. Yes.
And I'm intrigued to know
whether you've developed
a personal policy
yourself. So
No. Well, I, well,
Victoria, I can tell you that
I-I-I, I'm shaking
hands continuously.
I was at aI was at a hospital
the other night where I
think there were a few,
there were actually a
few coronavirus patients.
And I shook hands with everybody,
uh, you'll be pleased to know.
And I continue to shake hands.
Thanks very, very much. Yes?
Boy, did he find it difficult.
Boris's naturally
ebullient, positive persona
was not well-suited
to a pandemic.
There's a hugely
numerical exercise
because epidemiology
is essentially stats.
Probably around 1% of people
might end up dying based
on the Chinese experience.
you go to the pub tonight?
Of course I'll go to a pub,
if I need to go to a pub.
What do you think your son's gonna
say to that? He just told you not to.
No, he said, you know, we
should avoid going to pubs.
But if I had to go to
a pub, I'd go to a pub.
But why does anyone have to?
When would you have to go to a pub?
I mean, Stanley
had absolutely no
..idea of physical discomfort.
And Boris Johnson
is like this, too.
And that goes back
to his childhood.
There, you were just
expected to sort of keep going.
My family's odd. We
benefited from a weird thing.
My mother, she had
four kids really soon,
and when I was seven, she
went into a mental hospital
and that was basically it.
My father was travelling the
world. We were left to get on with it.
My first memory of meeting
Charlotte is she said,
"Two of my children
have been very ill.
"One of them shot one
of the others with a pellet,
"and one of them sucked
some mould off a pipe."
I mean, someone who'd known
him for a very long time said to me,
"I'd never put him in
charge of hospitals."
Well, he found himself
dealing with a great health crisis.
March 23, 2020,
and the disturbing Covid stats force
Boris to announce the unthinkable.
There now follows a ministerial
broadcast from the Prime Minister.
Good evening.
From this evening, I must
give the British people
a very simple instruction -
you must stay at home.
You should not
be meeting friends.
We'll stop all gatherings,
and we'll stop
all social events.
The way ahead is hard.
The Prime Minister's announcement
tonight, what have we ushered in?
Then Boris wasn't
feeling that well.
And then eventually I felt
unwell and got myself tested.
Something urgent for the
Prime Minister's top adviser,
his boss has
contracted coronavirus.
Downing Street said, "Boris
has tested positive as well."
And you know, and
Prince Charles, and it was
Hi, folks, I want to
bring you up to speed
with something that's
happening today,
which is that I've developed
mild symptoms of the coronavirus.
Boris and I had been
ill together for a week.
And at the same time as I
started getting quite quickly better,
Boris went downhill again.
Although I am, uh,
sequestered here,
uh, in Number 10 Downing Street,
I am, thanks to the miracles
of modern technology,
able to be in constant touch.
Yeah, he rang me
one night. He was
I'd just spoken to Carrie, he
was on his own in Number 10.
And, um
..I could tell,
I could tell by his breathing
he was getting a lot worse.
We get the message, "The Prime
Minister has gone into hospital."
And then there is an
emergency cabinet meeting.
Very unusually, it's
organised at no notice,
comes straight through from
the switchboard at Number 10.
And the Cabinet Secretary
comes on and says,
"The Prime Minister has
gone into intensive care."
He had a 50-50 chance
of being intubated.
And I knew that at
that point there was
a 50-50 survival rate.
So I knew that there was
a one-in-four chance
that Boris was going to die.
Boris's children with ex-wife
Marina are told the news.
Although estranged
from their father
because of the fallout from
the separation with their mother,
several rush to St Thomas'.
Carrie, who is heavily
pregnant, waits at home,
unable to visit intensive care.
I did see Carrie break down.
It suddenly became very
serious and very real to everybody.
It was almost too
..too grim a prospect for
anyone to actually talk about.
And actually But it
had to be considered,
and it had to be talked about.
We had to acknowledge
there was a chance that
the boss might not make it.
And then there was a protocol
put in place for if he didn't,
how the next Prime
Minister would be chosen.
Cos there wouldn't be time for
a Conservative Party
leadership contest, that's for sure.
Our thoughts are
with the Prime Minister,
his fiancee and his family.
Michael Gove, Rishi Sunak,
Dominic Raab and me.
We then all spoke to
each other individually
and then collectively,
and all agreed,
no game-playing, no politics.
Just do what is necessary to
get our country through this.
Come on, Boris Johnson,
you get better!
Come on, you fuckers,
get out your doors, come on,
let's clap for Boris Johnson!
That's it, come on, Boris
Johnson! Get better soon!
After three days
in intensive care,
Boris' condition improves,
and he leaves hospital
to recuperate at Chequers.
Good afternoon.
I've today left hospital
after a week in which
the NHS has saved
my life, no question.
You saw a real marked
difference in Boris when he came
out of hospital.
It was quite clear he
wasn't really well enough
to be back in government.
And he would sometimes apologise
for forgetting conversations
that you had had previously.
Thank you from me,
from all of us, to the NHS.
Let's remember to follow
the rules on social distancing.
Oh, it must be a minute now.
I don't know. No,
you've only done 25.
Arsenal are done
and dusted! Shut up!
Three weeks after
leaving intensive care,
Boris welcomes the
birth of Wilf, his sixth child
and first with partner
Carrie Symonds.
Within a month,
Boris had a baby,
put the country into
lockdown, nearly died.
All within one month.
On the day Wilf is born,
UK Covid deaths
rise to over 29,000.
And things are pretty desperate,
you know, at the hospital.
We're all having
a really hard time.
You need to stay home to
save people's loved ones.
We're all just
doing what we can.
I have to go in all the time.
Well, don't stand
near us, then, innit?
You are absolute idiots!
It feels like a losing
battle, but it's not.
Inside Number 10,
Carrie adjusts to
lockdown with a newborn,
after a decade of working
on political campaigns
and in communications.
Carrie was quite an unusually
political Prime Ministerial spouse
because she'd actually worked
for the Conservative Party.
She was really
steeped in Tory politics.
She had strong views of her own,
and she wasn't
embarrassed to share them.
Oh, sorry. Sorry, sorry!
There were just so many
rival sources of power in
the court of King Boris.
She was described
as Princess Nut Nut,
or she was compared
to Lady Macbeth.
There was definitely
misogyny in some of that.
Boris and Carrie were
almost drawn together by
a shared sense of
childhood trauma.
One MP said to me
they were damaged souls.
She would describe her
father as the man in the car
cos she only ever saw
him when he was driving up
and then driving away.
She had very
little to do with him,
was raised by her
mother on her own.
Boris' mother, Charlotte,
divorced his father, Stanley, in 1978.
Just opening one arm forward
and the other arm backwards.
Charlotte was diagnosed with
Parkinson's when she was 40.
This increasingly
impacted her life as an artist.
God, it's affected
me, every bit of me.
It affected my painting drawing, my
reading, my whole body.
She was very ill for
many, many years.
At one point, she could just
about get up from her wheelchair
and move to the easel.
And she sometimes did that
when she wasn't even
supposed to and fell over.
She quite often fell over.
Maybe this is a characteristic
that Boris has inherited.
She was very bold
and risk-taking.
He quite often phoned her.
And whenever I texted him
when he was Prime Minister,
he always responded very nicely.
And he always
sent me texts saying,
"Thank you for being
nice to my mum," and stuff.
We got on very well
because I was one of
the very few of her
friends who liked Boris.
The others didn't even
want to talk about him
because they were
against him politically.
Can you imagine having a
son who's reviled by the entire
Half the country, or more than
half the country sometimes?
Because of Brexit, mainly.
Boris is a liar, Boris is a liar,
Boris is a liar, Boris is a liar!
I don't think she
was fully aware
of how much hatred
there was around.
Sometimes her carer tried
not to show her some of
the newspapers, you
know, or headlines.
And I think she was
worried that he was
..going to come a cropper
in one way or another.
But she did stress that he was,
that he was a very
vulnerable person.
The thing about Boris, right,
is that he came into government
to drive Brexit through.
Cummings was critical
to him in driving it through.
The essentially
destructive nature
of that was
Cummings' sort of forte.
I'd like to have a
conversation with you.
So we're not gonna
have a conversation.
Are you gonna walk along
asking inane questions?
Is that your best, is
that your best move?
I'd like to have a
conversation with you?
Is that all you can say?
You'd go to a meeting
with the Prime Minister,
with Cabinet
Secretary, etc, etc,
and they'd all be
sitting in a row,
in the suits and so on.
And then Dominic Cummings
coming in just like this,
and then sort of lounging
like this, you know,
pretending not to be
interested in the meeting
and going, "Oh, God!"
You know, like, it's all an act.
And I always felt that he and
Johnson were a perfect match.
You've got this personified
as evil genius in Cummings,
plotting everything out, and
Johnson going, "Whoa, whoa, whoa."
I think Johnson needs
these figures around him.
He needs people
around him who will
effectively make
decisions for him.
You know, Cummings
is a, a very strongfigure.
The thing about Dominic
Cummings is he must run it. That's it.
You know, there is no question in
his own mind that he ever makes
a mistake or that
something can go wrong.
In May 2020,
Boris' closest adviser
becomes the centre of the story.
The Mirror and Observer newspapers
have spoken to a member of
the public who claims
he saw Mr Cummings in
the town of Barnard Castle
on Easter Sunday when
the message was "stay at home".
Cummings then went on that rather
strange drive around Barnard Castle
to check if he had Covid or
not, which was a bit weird.
It was like the regulations
didn't apply to them.
They applied to everybody else.
How, though, how?
I'm a single parent,
I've had no childcare since the
beginning of this whole mess!
Hypocrite! Resign!
Resign! Hypocrite!
Two months into lockdown,
Dominic Cummings
is accused of flouting
the Covid guidelines
he helped write.
In a pandemic, you have
to pull everybody together.
Cummings is entirely
the opposite to that.
Sorry I'm late.
Yesterday, I gave a full account
to the Prime
Minister of my actions.
Uh, Mr Cummings has
just subjected himself to
your interrogation
for quite a long time
now about these
very detailed matters.
And he spoke at
great length, uh, to me.
My conclusion, I think
he acted reasonably,
uh, legally and, uh, with
integrity and with care.
Well, you made it through again.
natural instinct is just say this doesn't,
it's not gonna matter.
Many of us said
it's damaging to you.
He couldn't see it at the
time as damaging to him.
He just thought it would The
public would go away from it.
The Prime Minister, apparently
his own father has jetted off,
in defiance of the
guidance, to Greece.
Even your own father has broken
the restrictions by
going to Greece.
What would you
say to your father?
Listen, I-I-I, I think you really
ought toraise that with him.
You're closer to him than I.
I've been, you know,
uh, not, not particularly
I came here to have a, you know,
to have a quiet time to organise,
organise the house. And so I'm,
you know, I'm not 100% up to speed.
Are you disappointed?
Family conversations, I'm
not gonna dig into detail.
Are you disappointed?
I-I-I, I think that, uh,
I'm very, very pleased that the overwhelming
majority the British population
Yeah, but are you
disappointed with Dad?
I am very pleased that the
overwhelming majority of
You're not gonna give
me one comment on Dad?
The overwhelming
majority of, uh No!
Just six months
after Boris backs him,
Dominic Cummings is sent
packing from Number 10.
His small box of belongings
tells little of the big hole
he leaves at the heart of
Boris Johnson's government.
His power has tonight
been taken away.
Boris hopes Cummings'
removal will calm tensions
with his party and the public.
I just think he wanted to move on.
He thought this would all blow away.
People would get it, it
wouldn't be a big problem.
But of course, you know,
you're dealing with a,
with a disgruntled, angry
individual that you sacked
who is now making sure
it's not gonna go away
and is gonna get even with
you. And that's what he does.
MUSIC: Deck The
Halls by Nat King Cole
Despite hoping for
a return to normality,
Christmas 2020 is cancelled as
Covid variants smash into Britain.
To all those who may be feeling
momentarily cast down or frankly
in need of any kind of cheering up,
I want to talk about what for me is
the deeper meaning of Christmas.
Because it's not
about presents or
turkey or brandy
butter, it's about hope.
There really is a star in
the sky. We have a vaccine.
The UK becomes the
first country in the world
to approve a Covid vaccine.
And the first to roll out a
mass vaccination programme.
Boris' response is, "Why
can't we go quicker?"
I said, "Well, we're the first
in the world, Prime Minister."
got to go faster, got to go faster!
Despite the vaccine,
the UK becomes the
first European country
to record 100,000 Covid deaths.
There's no doubt that
the UK having such
excessive death compared
to other nations is
a cause for concern.
Order, order, the
committee is now in session.
I'm very pleased to
welcome Dominic Cummings.
Unbound from government,
Cummings lets rip.
The problem in this crisis was
very much lions led by donkeys
over and over again.
I sent a message
to the Prime Minister,
"The Cabinet Office
is terrifyingly shit,
"no plans, totally
behind the pace."
If I could have
clicked my fingers,
Hancock would have been fired.
And I said, because this
whole system is chaos,
this building is chaos,
but you are more frightened
of me having the power
to stop the chaos than
you are of the chaos.
The Prime Minister, just
like a shopping trolley,
smashing from one side
of the aisle into the other.
Our relations are
getting worse and worse.
His girlfriend is desperate
to get rid of me or my team.
The Prime Minister
knew that I blamed him for
the whole situation, and I did.
You've been very
generous, uh, with your time.
That concludes this session of
the Joint Committee. Order, order.
Mr Johnson!
With political attacks
growing on the Prime Minister,
Boris suffers a huge
personal setback.
Losing his lifelong champion.
At the end, although
she could hear everything
and understand
everything, she couldn't talk.
Her voice gave in.
She was moved
out of her nice flat.
Covid, you couldn't
even go and see her.
So I don't think that
elongated her life at all.
We are just getting reports
tonight that Charlotte Johnson,
mother of the Prime Minister
Boris Johnson, has died suddenly.
Questions from the media -
Vicki Young from BBC News.
Uh, Prime Minister, can
I just start on behalf of all
of us by extending our
condolences to you and your family?
Well, Kirst, Kirsty,
uh, Vicki, sorry,
first of all, thank
you very much for,
uh, for your, for your kind,
your kind words and, uh
It was a good funeral.
It was in a church near
here in Notting Hill Gate.
First of all, I was
absolutely astonished that
the four children carried
her in and carried her out.
The second thing
which I noted was that,
while they were all up front,
Stanley was there,
but he was way back.
Afterwards, here
come the sandwiches.
HE CHUCKLES And I was, uh
..absolutely amazed that
Stanley then produced
a large wodge of what turned out
to be notices
about his next book.
When it was going to be
published and it was going to be,
you know, a meeting
in, in this or that
And please come if you can.
And I remember saying
to Stanley, you know,
"Really, Stanley, that's a
bit much. That's a bit much."
I thought it was ill-chosen.
Did you see Stanley
in Boris there?
I think all one can is to say he is very
much his father's son.
He continued at full tilt.
He didn't take any time off.
She died in September
'21, and I think
Boris Johnson's
Prime Ministership,
I mean, his judgment
deteriorated very markedly
after his mother's death.
A month after Charlotte dies,
a political scandal erupts
around Tory MP Owen Paterson.
A Parliamentary committee
found that he broke
the rules by repeatedly lobbying
for two firms that
paid him £112,000.
But instead of
backing the findings,
Boris attempts to
change the rules.
Sajid Javid, the newly
appointed Health Secretary,
finds himself in a dilemma.
We had the report from the
Standards investigation,
which I thought was a
pretty clear-cut report.
But all of a sudden, you
know, we had this attempt
by Boris and his team to try
and change the rule
book in Parliament.
Which I, I think like
most of my colleagues,
couldn't understand,
wouldn't agree with,
and we were told to vote for it.
I remember calling up
the Chief Whip and asking,
"It can't be true?" And the
Chief Whip confirmed to me,
this is what the boss wants,
and this is how you're
expected to vote.
Which, uh, I had to through
gritted teeth to, to vote for that.
And that, I think, was
a huge, huge mistake.
I saw the video sort
of on social media,
I think like everyone else,
and it worried me a lot.
I've just seen reports
from Twitter that there was
a Downing Street Christmas
party on Friday night.
Do you recognise those reports?
I went home. SHE LAUGHS
Hold on, hold on. Um, uh
It worried me because Allegra
is getting specifically asked
a question about,
you know, parties,
you know, against the rules
happening in Downing Street.
And it worried me
because I thought,
"Why would someone ask that
kind of question in a mock interview?"
Unless it's something you're
trying to sort of prepare for.
Just in case.
Would the Prime Minister condone
of having a Christmas party?
What's the answer? I don't
know. Is cheese and wine all right?
It was a business
meeting. LAUGHTER
You're joking. Is this recorded?
This fictional party, it
was a business meeting.
LAUGHING: And it was
not socially distanced.
Um, one more, and then
I was down to do what's
called the morning media round.
And I asked for assurances from
the Number 10
team about this video.
And I was told absolutely,
categorically that there
were no such parties.
And so you should feel
perfectly safe to go on the media.
Is there a question mark over
the assurances
that you've received?
Look, I've received assurances.
Do you believe those reassurances?
No, I'm pleased I've got
assurances, I've asked for them.
Do you believe them? I,
I believe the assurances.
And who are those assurances
from? I'm not gonna get into names.
From Downing Street?
That are in Downing Street.
You're 100% confident?
I'm absolutely confident
in the heart of government
that all rules would have
been followed at all times.
Some Conservative backbenchers
are openly voicing their anger
at the aides involved.
Can you stop, please?
Can you stop? I'm
gonna make a statement.
I felt very sorry for
Allegra in that video.
You know, a few hours later
or the next day, she resigns.
BORIS JOHNSON: I understand
and share the anger at seeing
Number 10 staff seeming to
make light of lockdown measures.
I was also furious
to see that clip,
but I have been repeatedly
assured that there was no party
and thatand that no
Covid rules were broken.
And that is what I have
been repeatedly assured.
As Boris denies all
knowledge of any parties,
Dominic Cummings tweets
how it would be unwise
for him to lie about this.
Another problem for
Boris is the detailed nature
of the rule-breaking
first broken by political
journalist, Pippa Crerar.
I pieced together all
sorts of bits of evidence.
I spoke to sources, I
approached people,
I pieced together dates,
I corroborated evidence.
It was just going through
detail again and again,
and again and again,
to find out that the people that
were standing behind the podium
in Downing Street day
after day after day telling us,
"You need to follow
these rules because"
..weren't following
them themselves -
I mean, I was I
didn't believe it at first.
If this year you
need a bigger turkey,
and there are
more sprouts to peel
and more washing up to do,
then that is all to the good
because these rituals
matter so deeply.
MUSIC: I Wish It Could Be
Christmas Everyday by Wizzard
New Year 2022 brings
little cheer for Boris.
Allegations of a
bring-your-own-booze party
in the Number 10
garden hit the headlines.
Mr Cummings, you
say you have pictures.
Are you going to be
releasing those, Mr Cummings?
We now come to Prime
Minister's Questions.
Dominic Cummings blogs
that he will swear under oath
that Boris is lying about
having no knowledge of this.
So the Prime Minister didn't
spot that he was at a social event?
I mean, how stupid
does the Prime Minister think
the British people are? Hear, hear.
I want to repeat that,
uh, I thought it was a
..a work event, and,
and Mr Speaker
It is so ridiculous
that it's actually offensive
to the British public.
My grandmother's funeral,
only ten people at the funeral,
many people who loved
her had to watch online.
I didn't hug my siblings,
I didn't hug my parents.
I gave a eulogy
and then afterwards
I didn't even go to her
house for a cup of tea.
Does the Prime
Minister think I'm a fool?
instinctive reaction from way back
has been when faced
with a difficult situation,
has been to double down on it,
to deflect, to
obfuscate, to deny.
But there's nothing
like visual evidence.
There's nothing like
seeing something
to bring a story
to life for people.
Partygate just
keeps getting worse.
A new photo shows two
dozen maskless people
partying at Conservative
Headquarters in London.
Yet another blow.
Allegations that multiple
Christmas parties took place
in Downing Street.
I'm told that Boris
Johnson loyalists
are trying to shore up
support for the Prime Minister.
This latest party
wasn't just a bit of cake
in the office, was
it? It was a party.
He, as far as I can see,
he was in a sense,
ambushed with a cake.
Look, I went out there
and defended him
because he's my friend
and he was my leader.
I don't think most people would
characterise that as a party.
I will forever be remembered
for, "ambushed by cake."
Although he assures me, by
the way, there was no cake.
But I felt it was my obligation
to go and defend my
friend and my boss.
And bear in mind,
the rules themselves
were not that clear.
Was eating a piece of birthday
cake legitimate eating at work
with people you
were with anyway?
There was no rule that
said you weren't allowed to
..drink alcohol at work.
This was not about
cake and champagne
and all of those things.
Boris Johnson
tried to trivialise it -
or rather he thought it was
trivial from the beginning.
He didn't understand how
deeply people would feel about it.
This, this Partygate,
Beergate or something.
Yeah, but you know
why. There is Boris,
the Prime Minister,
being fined by the police
for breaking his own
law. And 84 of his staff.
He steps by for 20
minutes. It's his birthday.
It wasn't a birthday party.
Party which breaks his
own laws. Hey, hey, Piers!
When other When he was
telling other people every day
from the podium,
"You can't do this."
It's high time that we moved
on to things which really matter.
the Prime Minister still think
that the rules
don't apply to him?
PIPPA CRERAR: It's one rule for
them and one rule for everybody else.
That's it ultimately,
in a nutshell.
And, actually, it wasn't the
only time he's felt like that.
I mean, Boris
Johnson's whole history,
his whole story has been
one that's been illustrated
by feeling that
he's exceptional.
Eton was founded by
Henry VI in 1440 for scholars.
I think we're all products of
our nurture and our nature.
Eton is a very formative
school for people who go there.
It has such a powerful history
and this leads to its
effect on its pupils.
Boris Johnson, has it ever
been an embarrassment to you
that you went to Eton?
On the whole elite thing,
I'm not actually
I'm not against elitism. Every
society we've ever known,
every society open to
our direct observation
has been ruled by an elite.
Communist Russia,
communist China,
everywhere is ruled by a
very, very tight oligarchy.
Many, many years ago when
I was at a school in Brussels
..I was cast in the role of God.
And it was absolutely brilliant.
And I remember saying,
"And I will cause the water
"to inundate every
creature that creepeth."
Power at that point.
I was God. Exactly.
It always had the capacity
to go wrong for him
because the public
liked Boris Johnson
..put up with his peccadillos.
Until they didn't.
My job is to look exactly
atat what happened
and to think which criticisms I
need toto learn from most of all.
Well, which criticisms of
you - I'm not hearing you say,
"I am going to change."
If you're saying you
want me to undergo
some sort of psychological
our listeners
would know that's
That is going - that is
not, uh, going to happen.
Of course, everyone
who knows Boris
knows that he's
not going to change.
But I think most people were
hoping he wouldn't tell everyone
he wasn't going to change.
I think what
Partygate did with him
was put him in Last Chance
Saloon with his own MPs.
Whatever the next scandal
might have been that came along,
his handling of it
was going to be key.
All good.
Just a very small step to your
left, please, Prime Minister.
The whole period from
January was a period of anxiety
and siege and, uh, firefighting.
This went in waves.
Things would appear to calm down
and it would look as if it was set fair,
then something
else would happen.
Another story would come along,
and it would seem
more difficult again.
Putin's invasion of Ukraine
shifts the attention abroad
..and Johnson becomes
the leading figure
in building a coalition
of allies to fight back.
It's not the size of
the dog in the fight,
it's the size of the
fight in the dog.
Ukraine will win.
But on home soil, allies
are thin on the ground
as more and more
Tory MPs grow restless.
Pressure was building
into the spring of 2022.
Under the rules of the party,
I received letters
from Conservative MPs
asking for a confidence
vote to take place.
Now, people say,
was it stressful?
The stressful part is waiting
for something to happen.
It became clear to the
MPs that their constituents,
who they need to
win the next election,
had fallen out of love
with Boris Johnson.
The vote in favour was 211 votes,
and the vote against was 148 votes.
It was a clear win, but with a
very significant, uh, minority
of the Parliamentary party,
uh, voting no confidence.
I asked to see Boris just
one-on-one. I went to his office,
and I said, "Look, four out of ten of
your colleagues voted against you
"and said they've got no
confidence in you, that's huge."
And he listened and he said,
"Look, yeah, II get
it and I understand.
"And, Saj, we're going to
Yeah, I've learned my lesson.
"We're going to be different.
We're going to get this right."
A few weeks later,
uh, the Chris Pincher
affair happens.
Boris Johnson is facing calls
to suspend one of his MPs,
who's alleged to
have groped two men.
Tory MP Chris Pincher had toiled
to keep Boris afloat
during Partygate
..and Boris had promoted
him to Deputy Chief Whip.
The BBC has been
told that further concerns
about his behaviour were raised
before he was appointed
as a government whip
back in February.
The Prime Minister reportedly
said "He's Pincher by name,
"pincher by nature."
Well, II have
absolutely no idea.
I go to prayer breakfast,
hundreds of people attend.
I'm not particularly
religious, I was invited.
And I'm listening to a sermon
there by I think Reverend Les Isaac.
The last two years has felt
as if we have hit a rock bottom
in terms of grief,
discouragement, and uncertainties.
And that's making
me think quite deeply
about the situation I'm
in and what should I do.
All of us have the
ability to influence
and to make a difference.
And we are called to
serve for the common good,
not just for the party,
but for humanity.
I start thinking about
drafting a resignation letter.
I even started
thinking in my head
about, "What would
I say if I resigned?
"What would a
resignation letter look like?"
just to help me make up my mind.
As you seek to have influence
and as you seek to exert your
influence across our community,
may the Lord help us
as we continue to serve.
And then when I'm in the car
going to the Cabinet meeting,
straight from the
prayer breakfast,
I get a text message from
one of my colleagues that says,
"Have you seen this tweet
from Simon McDonald?"
Breaking news this
morning. In an explosive,
unprecedented letter, the
former permanent secretary
at the Foreign Office has
said that Downing Street
is not telling the truth.
Chris Pincher's behaviour
as a Minister of State,
there was an investigation.
These investigations
are very rare.
Uh, and I knew that
Propriety & Ethics had briefed
the Prime Minister
because I was told at the time
that he knew an
investigation had started
and he knew how
it had concluded.
Number 10 was not
sharing the full facts.
People like me don't speak out,
but I decided it was more
important to get these facts out.
I was amazed by what
happened over the next 72 hours.
Turn your papers over, folks.
It's all right. Uh, everybody
all right? Are we good?
Thank you. Good
morning, colleagues.
Uh, thank you very much.
Because of the sensible
and responsible decisions
we've taken to get our economy,
uh, recovering from Covid,
and because of the
decisions we took
to, uh, come out of
lockdown, we're in a position,
uh, to continue to help
people through the
Various WhatsApp groups
had suddenly become very quiet.
And the fact that they were quiet,
in themselves, was quite telling.
It's like, what's
wrong with them?
So, I knew something
was brewing.
Tax cut in a decade
I can't remember half
the discussion in Cabinet,
but I actually make my decision in
the Cabinet meeting in my own head.
Obviously don't say
a thing to anyone.
Sam, I'm just
gonna interrupt you.
We're just hearing that
Sajid Javid has resigned.
And, yes, there's
questions now about,
sorry, I've just got something
pinging up on my phone
that I need to check. Er
I think Rishi Sunak
has just resigned.
The Tory party
collectively went mad.
I can't serve, er, under
the Prime Minister.
To be clear, uh, you have just,
I believe in the last 30 seconds,
resigned as a Vice Chair of
the Conservative Party cos you
There was a powerful sense
that we were just being overcome
likeI don't know,
like Covid on steroids.
It just collectively infected.
I believe a team is as
good as its team captain.
The events of recent months
have made it increasingly difficult
to be in that team.
And at some point we have to
conclude that enough is enough.
I believe that point is now.
Two resignations
during that half an hour
the Prime Minister's
Questions was on.
I told Boris Johnson in obviously
what was aan unwelcome
and difficult conversation
that the mood of the
Parliamentary party was pretty clear.
But the Prime Minister
was very much of the mood
that hehe wasn't
going to concede.
I did say to him
that there are people
that I thought were
working against him.
You know, the number of
MPs, I can'tcannot tell you
the number of MPs who
came up to me and said,
"It wasn't planned, you know,
"there was no
organisation behind this.
"It was justit was
just the herd moving,"
which actually tells me
that it absolutely was.
Liar! Liar! Liar!
So, I think there were lots
of people on manoeuvres,
but there wasn't a sort
of a single organised,
orchestrated campaign.
And I think it suits
Boris Johnson
and his allies now to
suggest that there was
because it makes it
somebody else's fault.
When actually the only person
that brought down Boris Johnson
was Boris Johnson.
Well, Boris Johnson has now
broken a British political record
for the highest number
of ministerial resignations
in the space of
just 24 hours - 43.
If you're watching Love Island
tonight, you want to switch over.
Cos this is political
Hate Island.
I was sitting watching
Love Island with the children,
and I think William
came in and said,
"Dad's been fired by Boris,
or Boris has fired Dad."
Is it game over for
the Prime Minister?
Michael's version is, "I
went in there to talk to Boris
"about the fact that
everybody else was resigning
"and that he probably
should resign."
This made Boris very upset
and then he fired Michael
as a sort ofI think
probably just a sort of, kind of,
"Yeah, I'm just
gonna do something."
I think hehe didn't quite
believe it was happening.
Uh, and I think
hehe was bewildered.
An emergency reshuffle this evening,
a botched-together new Cabinet.
The sort of, the trickle
went into a tsunami,
which is why I texted Dom
Raab and the Chief Whip to say
we needed to sit down with the
Prime Minister and just explain.
vehemently disagree.
Boris was then in front
of the liaison committee.
Prime Minister, how's
your week going?
Did Michael Gove come
and tell you to resign today?
Look, I'm here to talk about,
uh, what the government is doing.
Do you not feel, Prime
Minister, that the very ability,
capacity of this government
is, is deteriorating as we speak?
There is a wealth of
talent, Stephen, uh
His team were still defiant.
You know, sort of
whiteboarding different names
as names were falling
off the whiteboard.
The game's up. Really.
Will you be Prime
Minister tomorrow?
Uh, of course, uh, Mr
MacNeil. Uh, but, uh
And next week?
I'm But I'm here to
We'll be doing this
again, time and time again
if you stay in post, won't you?
What? Coming to this
committee? II will.
He's not asking that question.
Well, I don't know
quite what I mean
You know exactly
what I'm asking you.
Youyou don't This is
all about you, in the end -
the reason these things
happen is because of you.
I hope that you will reflect that
in the end we're all dispensable.
All flesh is grass.
The welfare of
the British people
and the security of the
nation are indispensable.
ZAHAWI: My being his
Chancellor was invited to sit with him
and he said, look, come on,
Nadhim, we did it on the vaccine,
we can do this again,
you You know.
I said, "Look, I'll do anything
that you ask me to do.
"I'm just really saying to you
"that we're not going to be able
to survive the next 24 hours."
Liar! Liar! Liar!
The worst PM in history.
They're gonna drag your
carcass out of this place.
And I can't bear
to see that happen.
I was upstairs in
the flat with Carrie
and I did pop downstairs
and go in and say to him,
in his study, "Look, you know
"..if theif the men in
grey suits with the revolver
"and the whisky come,
just show them the door.
"You know, you've
got an 80 majority.
"You'veyou've got
the biggest majority in
"the Conservative Party
for an entire generation."
We've probably
never, ever seen
..a political leader
in this country
who literally had the world
at his feet, a tide of goodwill,
an opportunity with a whopping
majority to really be a radical,
to really be a history
books kind of premier -
and Johnson had all of that in
front of him, and he blew it all.
There's, in a way, the tragedy.
II think it is a tragedy,
because here's a man
withwith extraordinary
gifts, talents and attributes
who was undone in the
end by his own failings
and the flaws in his character.
Of all the politicians
I've met in my life,
there's never been one I didn't
trust as much as Boris Johnson.
Well, he debased
British democracy
because he pushed
it to its absolute limits.
He's made us a
louder, noisier place.
I think history will see
Boris Johnson as responsible
for one of the biggest diplomatic
mistakes of modern history.
I went into the Cabinet
Office that morning,
and somebody stuck a
microphone under my nose
and said, "Are you still
supporting the Prime Minister?"
I said, "Yes, of course I'm still
supporting the Prime Minister."
These sort of squalls
happen in politics,
but the best politicians
carry on calmly.
I then get into my
office and I'm told
that the Prime Minister's
already decided to go.
So I was still supporting
him even after,
uh, the resignation
had been released.
I know that even if things
can sometimes seem dark now,
our future together is golden.
Thank you all very much.
# Was in the spring, oh, oh, oh
# As it became the summer
# Who would've known
you'd come along? #
Boris is in political
terms, still young.
# Touching hands #
That period of premiership, I don't
think he regards it as a full stop.
I think he regards
it as a comma.
# Touching you, oh, oh, oh
# Sweet Caroline
# Good times never
seemed so good
# I've been inclined #
Previous Episode