Boris Johnson offers to ‘take the knee’ and sings ‘I Will Survive’ in meeting with new comms chief Guto Harri
Boris Johnson offered to take the knee and sang ‘I Will Survive’ by Gloria Gaynor in a meeting in which he appointed Guto Harri as his new Director of Communications.
The embattled Prime Minster has been engulfed in turmoil following a series of reports about parties being held in lockdown, which has led to calls from several Tory MPs for him to resign.
In a move to save his premiership, following the resignations of a number of key aides, he has turned to Welsh broadcaster Harri, who was his director of external affairs during his tenure as Mayor of London.
The tongue in cheek offer from Johnson to take the knee appears to be a reference to Harri’s brief stint with right wing television channel GB News.
The former BBC journalist left following a blazing row over him taking the knee on air during a debate about racism directed at England football players.
Harri told Welsh language news website, Golwg360: “I went in to see the Prime Minister at 5 o’clock on Friday after filming Y Byd yn Ei Le in Barry, and I went in through the Cabinet Office in Whitehall in order to avoid being seen in the street and went through the narrow corridors in Downing Street to his office.
“Even though I hadn’t seen him in the flesh for some years, we picked things up where we had left them in terms of the tone of our friendship.
“I walked in and I made a salute and said ‘Prime Minister, Guto Harri reporting for duty’, and he stood up from behind his desk and began taking the salute but then he said ‘What am I doing, I should take the knee for you.’
“And the both of us were laughing. Then I asked him ‘Are you going to survive Boris?’. And he said in his deep voice, slowly and purposely, but starting to sing a little and finishing the sentence by saying ‘I Will Survive’.
“In an inevitable way he was inviting me to say ‘You’ve got all your life to live’ and he answered ‘I’ve got all my love to give’, and so we had a little blast of Gloria Gaynor! No one expects that, but that’s how it was.”
Guto Harri added: “There was a lot of laughing and we sat down to have a serious discussion about how to get the government back on track, and how we are going to move forward.
“Everyone’s attention on the recent events has created a lot of pain, but in the end, that doesn’t have anything to do with the way the people voted two years ago.
“He isn’t a total clown, but he’s a very likable character.
“90% of our discussion was very serious but it shows that he’s a character and that there is fun to be had. He isn’t a diabolical man in the way that some people mischaracterise him.”
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