Guto Harri, Boris Johnson’s last communications chief was the man whose mission was looking out for his boss even in his final days in the Downing Street bunker.
The latest transparency disclosures for April and June show that Chris Evans, the Daily Telegraph’s editor, was one of only three senior media figures Harri troubled to meet to “discuss the PM’s priorities”.
These priorities would have almost certainly included sounding Evans out about the possibility of Johnson resuming, once he’s back in civvy street, his £275,000-a-year column for the paper.
The death last year of Sir David Barclay – always the closer of the newspaper’s two owners to Johnson – means that seems a forlorn hope. Sir Frederick Barclay, the surviving twin, was less enamoured with Johnson and approved the Telegraph’s “enough is enough” policy in the lead-up to the Tory Party’s decision to ditch him.
The other figures Harri saw were Tim Davie, the BBC D-G and former Tory candidate donor, and Owenna Griffiths, editor of the Radio 4 Today programme. Harri also met Rupert Murdoch and his son Lachlan when he accompanied Johnson to the media tycoon’s summer party.
When I asked No 10 about what Harri was up to, a spokesperson replied tersely, “Harri no longer works here, so I have absolutely no idea.”