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Westminster lobby ‘totally baffled’ by Guto Harri’s Welsh language press briefing

07 Feb 2022 4 minute read
Guto Harri. Pic: GB News

The Westminster lobby appears to have been a little confused by Guto Harri giving a press briefing in the Welsh language.

The first move by Boris Johnson’s Director of Communications in his new job was to give an exclusive interview to Welsh language news site Golwg360.

In response to the move, Welsh speaking BBC journalist Elliw Gwawr tweeted: “Am enjoying that the lobby in Westminster is totally baffled that Guto Harri has done an interview in Welsh”.

The BBC’s political editor Laura Kuenssberg described it as an “interesting first move in the new No 10 Comms plan.”

Laura Kuenssberg said:

Torcuil Crichton, the Westminster Editor for the Scottish news organisation the Daily Record, said:

CNN journalist Luke McGee said:

‘Take the knee’ 

Guto Harri told Golwg360 that Boris Johnson offered to take the knee and sang ‘I Will Survive’ by Gloria Gaynor in a meeting in which he appointed the Welsh speaking broadcaster 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.”

“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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Llywelyn ein Llyw Nesaf
Llywelyn ein Llyw Nesaf
7 months ago

So in future, the prime requirement to be Prime Minister of the UK, the most important job in the union, to be occupied by only the best the UK can offer is “He isn’t a total clown”

Time we were out of here.

hdavies15
hdavies15
7 months ago

Most of our current crop of politicians are either high %age clowns, crooks or dimwits. Sometimes they have all three characteristics. And that includes our own lot here in Wales. Lot of adapting and improving to undertake before they give our communities the service that is deserved.

Argol Fawr!
Argol Fawr!
7 months ago


“90% of our discussion was very serious”

I doubt the chat was anywhere near that level of soberness. Even so, to be officially told the United Kingdom of England’s PM pratts about for 10% of the time is horrifying. Though not really news. 

Quornby
Quornby
7 months ago

Not diabolical……just sly and self serving. That goes for both of them.

George
George
7 months ago

No doubt it was arranged before he got the new job and he didn’t cancel. I don’t think it’s that comment worthy. Regarding what was shared with the magazine, I think it’s an early own goal for those who want to keep Boris as the PM as it still makes him look like a clown. But who is 100% all the time? Perhaps the trick they’re playing is releasing a silly story into the press then when Westminster bubble go mad about it it allows Boris et al to say his opponents overreact to everything just like that time with… Read more »

Erisian
Erisian
7 months ago

Obviously he’s not a total clown as it would exclude all the other adjectives we use when speaking of the ‘Beloved Leader’.

Last edited 7 months ago by Erisian
Y Cymro
Y Cymro
7 months ago

Another gimmick from fairweather Welshman Guto Harri. Anyone who aids this Anti-Welsh Tory idiocracy as he does are below contempt whatever language you speak.

Sian
Sian
7 months ago

It baffles me how people can recruit to these high profile posts at such short notice. Has Guto Harri finished his contract with y Byd ar 4? Flippant comments seem a very strange way for a PR person wanting people to take the UK PM and no. 10 sound more credible and dare I say it conservative!! Maybe it’s all just a CON….

Dafydd
Dafydd
7 months ago

Ok Guto – day 1 – get Boris to declare St David’s a National Holiday for Wales, Day 2 – End the use of the term “Engalnd & Wales”; Day 3 – Creation of distinct Welsh Legal System; Day 4 – Creation of separate Welsh Office of National Statistics; Day 5 – Devolution of Air Passenger Duty; Day 6 – Devolution of the Crown Estate to Wales; Day 7 – have a rest, you deserve it!

Dafydd
Dafydd
7 months ago
Reply to  Dafydd

Actually this isnt a bad idea for a discussion : What’s everyone’s political wish list?

Llwynog Abertawe
Llwynog Abertawe
7 months ago
Reply to  Dafydd

Apart from these:
-Devolution of Welsh media
-Devolution of travel infrastructure
-Build the Tidal Lagoon[s]
That’s all I can think of right now.

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