Tim Farron: ‘Boris has had more positions on Europe than the Kama Sutra’

Commenting on Boris Johnson’s announcement that he will campaign for a “leave” vote in the EU referendum, Tim Farron said:

This is a deeply cynical move from a deeply ambitious politician who is using an in-out referendum as a back door to Number 10. It is a selfish move to put personal ambition before the jobs, security and prosperity of every Londoner.

Boris has had more positions on Europe than the Kama Sutra. It reflects years of bitter infighting within the Tory party that even the Mayor of London won’t campaign to stay in Europe. He should get a backbone and support British business and the city by campaigning to stay in Europe.

* Paul Walter is a Liberal Democrat activist and member of the Liberal Democrat Voice team. He blogs at Liberal Burblings.

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  • The most popular politician in Britain,If only the Lib Dems had anyone that could come even close.

  • I thought it was Kama, rather than Karma.

    And Mr Johnson is a serious adversary, we can’t just laugh him away.

    Although, to be honest, I agree that this is not entirely unrelated to his political ambitions.

  • Eddie Sammon 21st Feb '16 - 7:22pm

    Very good from Tim. Some Lib Dems won’t like my suggestion, but it is this: show strong support to Cameron during the campaign. It’s not just about winning the campaign, it’s showing that in times of need the Lib Dems step forward. We can’t let the country spiral into chaos with Tory infighting and a Labour Party not wanting to be seen with Cameron.

    Going forward, it could create an opportunity for an alliance between liberal Tories and liberal Labourites plus Lib Dems. Some people in the out camp are worth having too, such as Sarah Wollaston.

  • I am so frustrated by the lack of honest, intelligent, non-partisan debate on the benefits and drawbacks of both IN and OUT. I watched the Marr Show and Murnaghan followed by The Sunday Politics and I was none the wiser. I am on the Remain side but I was dismayed by Jo Coburn repeating ” you can’t guarantee it though can you?” to Chris Grayling regarding free trade post-Brexit. I wish there was a higher standard of debate and analysis than that! If someone could produce an Infographic showing some basic facts, such as how much membership costs, how many laws were dictated to by Brussels in the last year, how many jobs are directly reliant on EU membership etc, that would help. At the moment, all I can remember is Nick Clegg talking about 3m jobs and being told this was untrue, nigel far age talking about 80%of our laws being made in Brussels, and being told this was untrue. Please can we have more light in this debate and less partisan posturing and hyperbole?

  • Incidentally I saw Tim on TV shivering in the rain when he made that Kama Sutra comment and it went down like a lead balloon. Lib Dem leaders should steer well clear of innuendo, given the party’s history, it comes across as a bit creepy. No offence.

  • Of course nobody in the remain camp is putting their own ambitions first? The ambition of a cushy well paid job in the EU? Eddie, the Libdems are still toxic after the coalition and thought of as only thinking of their own advancement.

  • If I were Labour or Lib Dems I would step back and let the Tories and UKIP fight it out. The country will not vote Leave – referendums always support the status quo – and just about the worst thing the Lib Dems could do is stand shoulder to shoulder with Cameron and Osborne, as they did in the Scottish Referendum.

    As for putting career before conviction, what do you all think Sayid Javid and Theresa May are doing?

  • Paul, the reaction of the people in the studio.

  • watch it for yourself and see what you think. And yes I did wince too, ugh.

  • @Phyllis Mr Javid and Mrs May are not quite as colourful, as Mr Johnson. So, I guess, their train of thought ended differently. Honestly, neither of the three are going to affect my vote.

  • I think Tim Farron is even more convincing when he advocates admitting all Calais”refugees” – all several thousand of them, and then another few dozen million, when all the world learns of Britain’s Big Heart.

    He’s a good party leader, but I hope there’ll be an even better one eventually.

  • What a lot of fuss over a non-cabinet member! Perhaps if you live in tbe tory south or maybe london you might listen to what he says but really i think Boris Johnson’s reach is very over-estimated.
    And please can someone work out how to make the referendum into somehinh other than tory internal squabbles – else no-one will be bothered to vote!

  • Philip Rolle 21st Feb '16 - 9:20pm

    An unnecessary personal attack. And quite untrue. I don’t see how backing the side least likely to win can be seen as furthering personal ambition.

    I hope LIb Dems will refrain from addressing supporters of Leave in this way. There are “outers” within the party itself and all it will do is shrink support that is already at a generational lowpoint.

  • I agree with Philip, this is an unnecessary personal attack.

    A more appropriate and potentially devastating attack, is to note that as Boris is currently the London Mayor and given the benefit London derives from being (the?) major financial centre for EU Europe, it is clear that his passion for London was only superficial; as is Zac Goldsmith’s…

  • https://twitter.com/mark4thorne/status/701475471037505536 – interesting quote from Tony Benn, just seen.

  • Eddie Sammon 21st Feb '16 - 11:19pm

    I agree Tim’s attacks were a bit personal, but I didn’t want to nitpick. Boris’s plan is dangerous. Britain and Europe would be bogged down with double referendums and re-negotiations whilst we have ISIS on our doorstep and a fragile economy. All our allies would be frustrated, we’d end up becoming the annoying pimple of Europe.


  • “A recent Ipsos/MORI poll found that of all the politicians in the UK, only Boris Johnson was capable of affecting the outcome of the referendum, adding a potential 15% to the ‘Leave’ campaign if he backed it publicly.” – http://www.huffingtonpost.co.uk/2016/02/21/boris-johnson-to-campaign-to-leave-eu_n_9285046.html

  • “”At a time when Brussels should be devolving power, it is hauling more and more towards the centre, and there is no way that Britain can be unaffected”
    Boris Johnson” http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/newstopics/eureferendum/12167643/Boris-Johnson-there-is-only-one-way-to-get-the-change-we-want-vote-to-leave-the-EU.html

  • Lorenzo Cherin 22nd Feb '16 - 12:49am

    as ever well said, on Cameron, I have been saying that we must see an ally on an issue , and there is one , the only way our party is going to be heard on this is if we rise above the party politics , and similarly there are allies in Labour who wont want to just sideline Cameron , but agree as necessary


    Any man of the same generation as Tim , and Nick , our leader ex, and Paul on here , and I say that ,and I should know ,because that includes me, has a bit of a “carry on “, sense of humour.For humour , read human !As a Christian of devout and evangelical sincerity , be glad he is not holier than thou.The great Jimmy Carter , who shares the same sort of religious convictions, as an American of a different ilk or era , was not big in office on humour, but even he was keen to emphasise he was not a prudish sort , and , famously gave an interview with Playboy !

  • Well, he’s likely to enthuse a lot more people than our position as the Party of supIne acceptance of the EU status quo.

  • Paul – Tim certainly didn’t look very sensible, standing in the rain shivering, as he tried to interject his views into the studio conversation.

  • Paul In Wokingham 22nd Feb '16 - 8:17am

    More accurately, Boris Johnson said that he believes that there are risks – such as to the City of London – from leaving, but he believes that the greatest risk is from the continued erosion of sovereignty that he believes will inevitably result from remaining in.

    At the exact moment that Johnson made his public announcement, the value of GBP against USD (which amusingly is referred to by traders as Cable) slipped by 1.2 cents. As of this morning the pound is down 2 cents and this story has been picked up in the papers.

    Rather than engaging in cheap personal insults, perhaps it would be better to deal with the substantive and proven consequences of brexit.

    I have not completely made up my mind which way I will vote. I see the merit in both cases. But I am increasingly certain that my final decision will not be because of the reasoned arguments presented by one side, but because I am utterly exasperated by some statement put out by the other.

  • Phyllis – l would also like some ‘honest, intelligent, non-partisan debate on the benefits and drawbacks of both IN and OUT’. It’s early days so here’s hoping ….

  • Paul …. My tongue in cheek response is that if someone’s daft enough to stand shivering in the rain instead of at least wearing an overcoat his/her message will be considerably diluted!!! Have a look at the interview!

  • Stephen Booth 22nd Feb '16 - 8:44am

    re spelling: It’s actually Karma (Karma Chameleon) folks, which is exactly what Boris is, a creature who constantly changes to suit his own advantage. Clever, but I think he will be exposed in the coming months for the outrageous populist he is (Donald Trump – watch a master at work and learn). Interesting though is Laura Kuensberg’s analysis at http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-politics-eu-referendum-35626143 It may be a conspiracy theory but Boris waited until the last moment to decide which colour he would adopt. Michael Gove it appears is the key. Game on.

  • Paul Walter, The interview is not only uninspiring but it’s also ‘hard to find’…

    I ‘Googled’ “Tim Farron EU Interview 2016″…Apart from LDV, No mention…

  • I’ve never known what to make of Cameron, but I’m starting to think that maybe he will be viewed by history as a weak man who had a long spell of good luck supported by a clever strategist in Osborne. Instead of facing down the diehard anti-Europeans in the Tory Party, as John Major did, Cameron decided to open Pandora’s Box. The average voter is not particularly exercised by Europe, and the campaign is going to put people off the subject even more. Is a turnout of, say, 58% and a win by 52% to 48% one way or the other going to settle anything? It might result in the break up of the United Kingdom, or the Conservative Party, Johnson as Prime Minister, or just a continuation of the diminishing influence that the United Kingdom has in Europe and the rest of the world. I cannot see any positive outcomes to Cameron’s politicking. (And, incidentally for the benefit of our UKIP readers, I don’t believe that the Liberal Democrats have a record to be proud of on Europe either).

  • Paul: BBC iPlayer – 21 Feb – Sunday Politics London.

  • Eddie Sammon 22nd Feb '16 - 10:02am

    Thanks Lorenzo. 🙂

  • John Marriott
    It’s a nightmare thought for many of us, but there is a very good chance it will happen. UK voters seem sick of timid, career politicians who rarely stick to their promises and the yanks have always loved a maverick. Boris Johnson and Donald Trump seemed to be what the people want – and who knows they maybe right. In the 80’s I was horrified when Thatcher and Reagan won, but looking back they were stronger and far better leaders than Callaghan and Carter. They were what their countries needed at that time and in the future we may look back and say the same about this pair.

  • Paul Walter 22nd Feb ’16 – 9:03am………Pat, I’d love to. Where is it?…….Ah! Excellent-many thanks Pat, I’ll look at it this evening……..

    Paul, So you started this thread without even bothering to watch the interview….I trust this approach does not reflect our future approach to putting forward an ‘IN’ argument…

  • Apologies, Paul, but, as you entered into dialogue with ‘phyllis on how the interview was received, I assumed that you had seen it…

    Mind you, I’d recommend looking at the source rather than relying on ‘media quotes’.They can often be rather selective; especially when Tim is involved….I was disappointed with the way the interview was run; I thought Tim was cut off, mid-sentence a few times…

  • John Marriott
    I don’t really disagree with what you say – although bringing Hitler into it is a bit of a stretch. It’s just that many people thought Reagan was a right-winged idiot when he was standing for office, but he went on to be a very popular president. If I remember correctly as part of his election campaign he was also very keen that america should “regain control of it’s borders”, although I admit I don’t recall him talking about building walls. Also many people thought Thatcher’s economic policies were daft in the 79 election, but now she’s looked upon as some sort of genius. If only we had hindsight when we vote – then I wouldn’t have voted for a “sensible” candidate like Clegg in 2010! I’m not saying I would support Trump and Johnson but I would certainly prefer Boris as PM to Corbyn or Farron – and I’m normally a Labour voter who sometimes changes to LibDem. So I guess that tells you what I think of the state of those two parties. In america I would like to see Clinton win, but I think as the campaign goes on both democrat candidates will begin to show their age and the republicans will look fresher and win. If Trump wins it certainly won’t be boring, but I don’t expect him to invade Poland!

  • Denis Loretto 22nd Feb '16 - 12:15pm

    How about this extract from an article by Simon Kent reporting an interview with Boris Johnson in Der Spiegel in August 2015 –

    “Look, we can’t leave Europe. We’re part of the European Continent. What is the English Channel? It’s a primeval river that got slightly too big. The Thames and the Seine are both tributaries of the same large river. We’re always going to be a part of Europe psychologically. The trouble is that the euro and the euro zone have taken over so much emotional and intellectual energy of the people running the community. This is a real shame. Europe should be about so much more. I think we need to focus on other things that are good for our populations. I believe in the free market of services and all those things.”
    My ideal world is, we’re there, we’re in the EU, trying to make it better. We don’t need the European Union to tell us how many hours we can work, we don’t need all this health and safety stuff. Brussels should get back to the great principle of Cassis de Dijon — mutual recognition, not harmonisation. I hope our German friends will take us very seriously during this reform process.”

    As Simon Kent drily observes – “Spoken like a man who has made up his mind. At least until he changes it again.”

    In this piece Johnson makes the obvious point – the EU does need to reform as it develops. People will vary as to precisely the direction the UK will want to see such reform taking and that will have to be decided from time to time by our elected parliament in Westminster but the essential factor in seeking any such reform is to be in there pitching. Otherwise the EU, which will still be alive and kicking without us, will endeavour with considerable power to eat our lunch.

    Johnson’s shift from this clear and logical position can only be a calculation of where his personal political ambitions lie. We must continue to argue clearly for the true interests of the UK.

  • Boris who?
    I live in West Wales and the Mayor of London has no say in Pembrokeshire…thankfully!
    He may be popular in London, but I see an idiot. Especially as he’s happy to see the London Financial centre go down the toilet just for his own ambition and ego.

  • Julian Heather 22nd Feb '16 - 2:06pm

    Well done Denis Loretto for posting Boris Johnson’s interview with Der Spiegel – which took place as recently as August 2015 – in which he explained at the time why we need to stay in the EU.

    Johnson is clearly a man without principles, who gives politics and politicians a bad name – a real Chameleon. He needs to be “outed” as such, however popular he is. And if anyone needs evidence of how Johnson behaves, just ask Caroline Pidgeon, our brilliant London Mayoral candidate, who has spent 8 years as a Lib Dem London Assembly member, forensically taking Johnson apart during Mayoral scrutiny sessions, for his dissembling. Johnson is a disgrace for the way, as Mayor of London and as a London MP, he is undermining the Capital in his newly-found opportunistic opposition to remaining in the EU.

  • Catherine Jane Crosland 22nd Feb '16 - 2:24pm

    Everyone seems to be assuming that Boris Johnson’s decision is motivated simply and solely by his leadership ambitions. This may be the case, but surely he is making a considerable gamble, which would only work if the vote is for “leave”, and could prove disastrous for his career if the vote is “remain”. If his motives are purely cynical and ambitious, would it not have been a safer tactic to have gone through the motions of loyally supporting David Cameron, but to have subtly conveyed that he was doing so half- heartedly, out of “loyalty” ?

  • In this piece Johnson makes the obvious point – the EU does need to reform as it develops. People will vary as to precisely the direction the UK will want to see such reform taking and that will have to be decided from time to time by our elected parliament in Westminster Denis Loretto

    This really gets to the nub of the issue, the UK (and other EU member nations) will only lose sovereignty etc. if their representatives decide to. So effectively the MP’s in the ‘Leave’ campaign are saying that they and their successors cannot be trusted to make that decision. The strategic question is whether the UK wants to be part of this project and influence it’s direction of travel.

    To my mind the recent negotiations show that if the UK wants and puts it’s mind and energies into it, it can engage with other EU members and achieve something that is of benefit to all members. The problem is that because we’ve done it in one big session, it is perceived as being something special for the UK with little benefit to other members.

  • We used to be at least constructive critics of the EU. We should have set out what changes we wanted from the EU prior to the PM’s negotiation and then savaged him over the thin gruel (thanks, J R-M) he has returned with. Not a bit of it. Just activist/metropolitan bubblethink, some sneering at the Outers, whether campaigners or the public and a blind assumption that we’ll all just leaflet and canvass for In. No chance. I think we like the EU because it makes the UK Government do things we approve of but that we know the British public won’t vote for. Very Liberal. Very democratic. Not.

  • Julian Heather 22nd Feb ’16 – 2:06pm…………..Well done Denis Loretto for posting Boris Johnson’s interview with Der Spiegel – which took place as recently as August 2015 – in which he explained at the time why we need to stay in the EU….

    Try,as recently as 7th Feb 2016..(two weeks ago)…. Boris wrote on ‘Brexit’, in his Daily Telegraph column….”leaving would cause at least some business uncertainty, while embroiling the Government for several years in a fiddly process of negotiating new arrangements, so diverting energy from the real problems of this country –

    The real wonder is that there are still those who admire this dangerous buffoon…

  • However, for all his faults Boris is the most popular politician around and hardly anyone knows who Caroline Pidgeon is. Don’t think that dragging a few of his quotes out from the past will make a difference, after two London Mayor elections it’s water off a ducks back. He plays the fool well, but he is a very intelligent, seasoned campaigner and a massive asset for the “out” campaign.

  • Denis Loretto 22nd Feb '16 - 2:59pm

    @Catherine Jane Crosland
    Johnson knows Cameron has committed himself to standing down before the next general election. His calculation is that he will either (a) lead a victorious gadarene rush out of the EU or (b) be seen as the doughty warrior who did his best for the numerous and vociferous eurosceptics within the Tory Party as against those like Osborne and May who “weakly” went along with Cameron. Either way he feels in a strong position to claim the party leadership.

    It is also an important factor that Johnson is himself standing down as London Mayor. He knows perfectly well that the City of London has virtually no chance of remaining the financial hub of Europe if outside the EU and doesn’t give a stuff. By the way let us just give Cameron some credit for negotiating terms for the City which give it every chance of maintaining their dominant position if membership of the EU is secured. Whatever we think of the shortcomings of the financial sector we need it to prosper.

  • Barry Snelson 22nd Feb '16 - 3:03pm

    I am with Phyllis, WASP though I am and not a Mary Whitehouse figure. The ‘Benny Hill’ stuff sits badly with his natural dignity and he should give it a miss.
    Besides the ‘Stay’ camp will need a lot of ditherers to think through the consequences before deciding.
    My stance would have been to congratulate Johnson (and he is far more popular than Tim) on taking his time to deliberate but point out that his logic is flawed because of x and y.
    It’s the stay camp which will suffer if the debate descends into some football terrace shouting match. Don’t pillory those who will ponder the arguments slowly. Appeal to their intelligence.

  • Just watching the House of Commons debate on the TV. Is it just me or are the “in” side winning easily. Cameron has been excellent, Ed Milliband and Ken Clark have been very good also. However, why oh why did Clegg speak instead of Farron who was sat next to him. He had to bring party politics into it and Cameron very gently made him look a fool. He really needs to be hidden from sight.

  • Peter Watson 22nd Feb '16 - 4:39pm

    @Denis Loretto “How about this extract from an article by Simon Kent reporting an interview with Boris Johnson in Der Spiegel in August 2015”
    To be fair to Boris Johnson (who I dislike for so many reasons), his comments in that article are not necessarily inconsistent with wanting to leave the EU. He distinguishes between Europe as a geographical (and even cultural) entity and the EU as a political creation. If he believes that “My ideal world is, we’re there, we’re in the EU, trying to make it better.”, then he could point to the difficulties in extracting a few minor reforms as evidence that the EU does not live up to his ideal.
    I’m not saying I agree with Boris Johnson (perish the thought !) or that I disagree with the notion that he is opportunistically advancing his personal ambitions, but I don’t think his position is as inconsistent or as variable as some commentators have suggested. Not that any of that is likely to stop the BoJo juggernaut from rolling on.

  • Denis Loretto 22nd Feb '16 - 5:12pm

    @Peter Watson
    I take your point, Peter. Quite often eurosceptics will claim to like or even love Europe but are opposed to the European Union. However in his Der Spiegel piece Johnson plainly says “My ideal world is, we’re there, we’re in the EU, trying to make it better.” Does that not plainly say that the way to get reform is to work within the EU? Is he now implying that the frantic phase of negotiation by Cameron under the pressure of his referendum promise is the only phase of reform that can ever happen? The evidence seems clear to me that his private opinions recognise the value of continued EU membership but his personal ambition steers him in another direction – and I consider that highly reprehensible.

  • Martin Land 22nd Feb '16 - 8:22pm

    So now we are going to have to spend the next few months listening to two idiots from New York with bad blonde haircuts…

  • jedibeeftrix 22nd Feb '16 - 10:25pm

    @ Denis – “He knows perfectly well that the City of London has virtually no chance of remaining the financial hub of Europe if outside the EU and doesn’t give a stuff.”

    Lol, you have a long way to go before you convince me of the validity of that statement.
    London has, and will retain, enormous advantages as europe’s financial capital regardless of EU membership. Not least among which are the parochialism of Frankfurt and the unreconstructed dislike for finance in Paris.

  • Boris Johnson is not that popular. It’s an idea that gets repeated in a mostly Tory press because of a very narrow victory against the very unpopular Ken Livingston. We’re just repeatedly told he has the common touch because he makes a buffoon of himself on TV. That’s the level of respect the press and TV has for the British people. Lots and lots of privately educated commentators think the peasants deserve a clown.

  • Denis Loretto 23rd Feb '16 - 3:40pm

    Have a look at what Sajjad Karim, Conservative MEP for North West England, said back in August 2014. http://www.euractiv.com/section/uk-europe/opinion/brexit-will-destroy-the-city-of-london-as-we-know-it/ Since then the reforms negotiated by Cameron have introduced crucial safeguards for non eurozone countries in general and the City of London in particular. These strengthen the case put by Karim – hardly a euro-fanatic.

  • Boris Johnson is no fool. He has correctly sensed the direction the general public is moving in re Brexit and has acted accordingly .

  • Simon Banks 28th Feb '16 - 5:52pm

    It would be deeply irresponsible and cynical of us to leave it to the others to fight it out. This issue is more important than whether we go up a few points in the polls or even whether we gain council seats in May. It’s simply wrong to say referendums always vote for the status quo. Two Scottish and one Welsh devolution referendums voted for change and the Scottish independence one nearly did.

    However, we do need to think, locally as much as nationally, about what impact we can have where. “Liberal Democrats back Europe” has about as much impact as “Quakers oppose war”. But as a Quaker I know that specific peace work – for example, bringing together divided communities – can be effective. In the case of the Euro-referendum, we should be targeting the people who will listen to Liberal arguments on Europe. That is not the Labour/UKIP waverers who might possibly vote REMAIN out of fear. It is people who are not turned on by narrow economic arguments but react against Little Britainism or people who care a lot about specific policy areas (for example, wildlife, as leaving the EU would remove many measures to protect wildlife and any voice we might have in stopping Mediterranean hunters shooting our breeding birds on migration; or safety at work, as some of that famous “red tape” is about not getting people killed).

  • Richard Underhill 6th Mar '16 - 10:39am

    The Mayor of London was told that he is not on the Boris Johnson Show, he was on the Andrew Marr Show (BBC1 6/3/2016).
    He kept repeating a mantra about “free trade deals” which is a contradiction in terms, either there is free trade or there is a deal. We also had serious economists on the same programme, the former Governor of the Bank of England, Mervyn King, who has written a recent book, and the German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schauble, who was recently at a conference in London.
    There have been prominent figures who have resigned after a referendum defeat. They include President De Gaulle in France on the issue of reform of the French Senate, and the Norwegian Prime Minister on EU accession.
    There may well be others.
    Boris Johnson also described the current UK referendum as a “glorious opportunity”. It is certainly an opportunity, either to leave the EU or to settle the issue, but “glorious” is merely spin doctor language.

  • Richard Underhill 6th Mar '16 - 10:52am

    Boris also said that none of the other (regional) arrangements want to copy the EU. He is wrong, they all do, but there are serious political difficulties. All the member states of the EU are democracies, it is a condition of joining. Bizarrely Boris has wanted Turkey to be a full member and ignores their human rights record and what has recently happened to a major newspaper in Turkey.
    What is now the North American Free Trade Area was built on an agreement between USA and Canada. It was a trade deal, not a free trade area, but Canadians were very worried about the effects, including whether the Canadian dollar would continue or whether the USA and Canada would have a single currency. Both countries were and are democracies, both members of NATO, the lengthy frontier does not need much enforcement, even if that were practical there is very little demand for stricter enforcement.
    Other regional groupings have greater political difficulties, some of their member states are totally undemocratic and their military-political histories are different.

  • Richard Underhill 22nd Apr '16 - 7:36am

    Boris is wrong again. Canada is a member of NATO as he ought to know. His selectivity is tiresome. Obama is not a hypocrite. What Paddy Ashdown said on BBC1 Question Time is right and former Defence Secretary Liam Fox could not name a single NATO member state who think that the UK should leave the EU. Speaking for NATO as a whole the Secretary General, a Norwegian, said that the UK should Remain in the EU.

  • Richard Underhill 4th Jun '16 - 9:51am

    Boris v Dave on Channel 4 on 27/5/2016 is a good source. 56 minutes including adverts.
    Although they went to the same school they were two years apart and are unlikely to have had much contact. Comments from people who know both, such as Max Hastings.

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