Guto Harri was last to urge Boris Johnson to stay on as Prime Minister despite resignations
Welshman Guto Harri was one of only two people in No 10 urging Boris Johnson to stay on as Prime Minister as almost 60 of his ministers resigned on Wednesday, according to the Times newspaper.
According to the newspaper’s report of the final hours before Boris Johnson resigned himself to his fate, Guto Harri, the Director of Communications, and David Canzini, his senior adviser, were the only ones still urging him to stay on.
Almost everyone else was telling him that it was time to go, the Times reported.
The Prime Minister finally realised he could not stay on at 10.30pm on Wednesday when he could not fill any of the posts that had opened up in the Cabinet, they said. He then decided to sleep on it, before waking up at 6am and beginning to draft his resignation letter.
“In the end he realised there was no way out,” a source told the Times. “The onslaught was just too great. It was just too brutal.”
A source also told the Daily Mail that Guto Harri had to “take responsibility for much of the chaos”.
“He thinks he is a character in the play rather than a backstage floor manager,” they said.
Guto Harri was brought in at the beginning of February to steady the ship as Director of Communications during the partygate scandal.
In a move to save his premiership, following the resignations of a number of key aides, Boris Johnson had turned to Welsh broadcaster Harri, who was his director of external affairs during his tenure as Mayor of London.
Guto Harri’s tenure started with some difficulty after he gave an interview to Welsh language news website Golwg360 in which he called the Prime Minister “not a total clown”, but he subsequently kept a low public profile.
The Times also revealed today that the new Welsh Secretary was chosen as he was “deliberately uncontentious” – an old, experienced hand to guide the Cabinet through the next few months of caretaker government.
Boris Johnson told Buckland that it would be “very cool” if he would rejoin the cabinet, and suggested that he could do it “pro bono publico, no panico”.
‘Ship has sailed’
Meanwhile, Labour have said that they will call a no-confidence vote in the Prime Minister if the Conservative Party does not get rid of him immediately, Angela Rayner has said
The Labour deputy leader told BBC’s Today programme: “We will if the Conservatives don’t get their act together and get rid of Boris Johnson, you know, he’s got no confidence of his own party.
“He’s a proven liar who’s engulfed in sleaze and we can’t have another couple of months of this, you know.
“So they do have to get rid of him, and if they don’t, we will call a no confidence vote because it’s pretty clear – he hasn’t got the confidence of the house or the British public.”
In an “ideal world” Dominic Raab would have been the caretaker prime minister but “that ship has sailed”, the treasurer of the 1922 committee has said.
Sir Geoffrey Clifton-Brown told BBC’s Today programme: “I think that ship has sailed I think yesterday, everybody (on) this board, they decided that Boris Johnson should remain and he has said very clearly that he won’t be making any major changes during that period. And I think that is a good thing.
“Those ministers who are coming back in a caretaker role, having had resigned (from) work, it will be a little awkward for them.
“I think in an ideal world, Dominic Raab, as Deputy Prime Minister, should have been the caretaker prime minister, but that ship I think has sailed and we must we must now live with the fact that Boris Johnson will be Prime Minister until a successor can be voted on.”
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