‘Right notes in the wrong order’: Boris Johnson compares Liz Truss’s mini-Budget to his piano-playing as former PM blames the ‘bummer’ of Covid for not spending enough time wooing Tory MPs prior to his downfall
- Boris Johnson compares Liz Truss’s mini-Budget to his own piano-playing
- Ex-PM suggests his successor found the right notes but ‘not in the right order’
- Mr Johnson also reflects on not spending enough time with Tory MPs while PM
- During CNN interview he blames Covid, which he describes as ‘a bummer’
The former prime minister offered the quip about Ms Truss’s tax-cutting agenda as he also reflected on his own errors in No10 in a televised interview.
Mr Johnson admitted he had not spent enough time with Tory MPs while he was PM and blamed the Covid pandemic, which he described as ‘a bummer’.
He also played down his chances of one day returning to Downing Street following his aborted attempt at a comeback after Ms Truss’s own resignation last month.
Appearing on CNN Portugal, Mr Johnson shared his thoughts on Ms Truss’s mini-Budget in September, which included £45billion worth of unfunded tax cuts.
The fiscal package spectacularly unravelled amid turmoil on financial markets and soon forced Ms Truss to quit as PM.
Mr Johnson told CNN: ‘What I would say about it is, a mini-Budget or whatever, it’s kind of like when I play the piano.
‘The notes individually sound perfectly ok. But they’re not in the right order or occurring at the right time.
‘I think that’s what might be my comment on some of the measures in there.’
Boris Johnson admitted he had not spent enough time with Tory MPs while he was PM and blamed the Covid pandemic, which he described as ‘a bummer’
The former PM compared his successor Liz Truss’s disastrous mini-Budget to his own piano-playing – suggesting she found the right notes but ‘not in the right order’
When Ms Truss resigned, Mr Johnson soon joined the contest to replace her and attempted to rally Tory MPs to support a stunning comeback as PM.
But he later withdrew from the Tory leadership race and admitted it was ‘simply not the right time’ for him to return to Downing Street.
Asked if he still harboured hopes of another spell as PM at some point in the future, Mr Johnson told CNN: ‘I’ve said for about 20 years that my chances of becoming PM were about as good as my chances of becoming decapitated by a frisbee, or blinded by a champagne cork or locked in a disused fridge or something.
‘I then did become PM. So my chances of becoming PM again I think are those impossibilia cubed or squared.’
Mr Johnson was also quizzed about what he thought he should have done differently during his time in No10.
‘There’s so many things, it’s an embarrassment. I’m pleased with some of the things that we did, very pleased,’ he replied.
‘I think having a very fast vaccine rollout was great, having the biggest election majority was great. And I think what we did to support Ukraine was great.
‘What would I have done differently? Covid was a bummer, Covid was really very difficult.
‘And I think the thing that we should have done, I should have done more of, I should have spent more time talking to my troops rather than just trying to get on and manage the pandemic.
‘There’s an honest answer. It was very, very difficult to try to run the country while we were going through this whole thing.
‘We had a huge number of MPs who’d never been elected before who didn’t think they’d be elected and who hardly knew me at all.
‘And I’ve got to put my hand up, I didn’t spend enough time with them. That was my fault.’
During his resignation speech in July, Mr Johnson appeared to blame his downfall on the ‘herd’ instinct of Tory MPs after his premiership had collapsed following mass resignations from his government.