Guto Harri tries to cheer up Johnson with Welsh rugby comparison after Jubilee booing
Boris Johnson’s Head of Communications Guto Harri attempted to cheer up his boss after he was booed as part of the Platinum Jubilee celebration by comparing the crowd to English and Welsh rugby fans.
The Prime Minister and wife Carrie Johnson were greeted by a loud chorus of boos as they arrived at St Paul’s Cathedral for a service as part of the Platinum Jubilee, with more booing heard as they left.
But according to Tim Shipman, the Times’ Chief Political Commentator, former S4C presenter Guto Harri told his boss that the cries of “Boris! Boris!” were “like the English rugby crowd singing Swing Low Sweet Chariot” and the boos equivalent to a Welsh crowd “responding with You Can Shove Your F***ing Chariot Up Your Arse”.
Culture Secretary Nadine Dorries had earlier been widely mocked after suggesting that the media had exaggerated the scale of jeers faced by the Prime Minister for the sake of sensational headlines.
In a tweet on Friday evening, she said: “There were far, far more cheers, but that doesn’t make a good headline does it?”
Her claim was contradicted by ITV News Royal Editor Chris Ship, who was present outside the cathedral and said the booing was “very loud indeed”.
The transport secretary, Grant Shapps, today said that “politicians don’t expect to be popular all the time” and people are “over-interpreting” the boos directed at Boris Johnson.
“There were also people cheering and you’re not asking me why they did that,” he told the BBC’s Sunday Morning programme.
Political commentator Daniel Finkelstein however warned the Prime Minister not to ignore the booing.
“Who, after all, stands outside St Paul’s for hours to watch members of the royal family attend a jubilee thanksgiving service?” he asked.
“Primarily people who respect tradition, enjoy pageantry, feel positive about British institutions and want to witness a moment of history.
“A Conservative prime minister should be worried about being booed by people like that.”
Yesterday the BBC denied toning down the booing when the footage was broadcast later, saying that it was just the result of the sound coming from a different microphone.
“The BBC did not change or edit the sound on any of its recordings yesterday and its coverage clearly demonstrated the crowd’s reaction to the Prime Minister’s arrival,” they said.
“As is standard for an event of this nature, there were a number of different crews filming. Jane Hill was filmed commentating live on the arrivals at the service and the crowd’s reaction.
“Other BBC coverage used a ‘clean feed’ of the arrivals, that is, sound and pictures from a different crew which did not have commentary on top.”
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