The Prime Minister is said to have sung I Will Survive with his new Director of Communications as he pledged to continue his premiership in the wake of the so-called Partygate scandal.
In an interview with Welsh language news site Golwg360, Goto Harry, whose appointment was announced in the role this weekend, said Boris Johnson is “not a total clown” and he is a “very likeable character”.
Mr. Harry took over the briefing of the contacts following a series of resignations among the Prime Minister’s aides.
He told Golwg360 Mr Johnson, citing Gloria Gaynor’s injury, when they met on Friday afternoon, before they settled into a “serious conversation” about getting the government back on track, according to the translation.
The prime minister has reportedly suggested he should kneel before Mr Harry, in an apparent reference to the row over the former broadcaster’s knee injury during an air debate on racism in football last year.
“I went in and saluted and said, ‘Prime Minister, Goto Harry is on duty,’ said Mr. Harry, and stood behind his desk and began to salute, but then said: ‘What shall I do? I have to take the knee for you.
And they were laughing. After I asked him: “Will you survive, Boris?” And in his deep voice, slowly and purposefully, while singing a little he finished his sentence, saying: “I will live.”
Somehow I couldn’t resist, he invited me to say, ‘You have all your life to live,’ and replied, ‘I have all my love to give,’ and so we had little Gloria Gaynor.
Mr Harry added: “Nobody is expecting it, but that’s how it was. There was a lot of laughter and we sat down to have a serious conversation about how to get the government back on the right track and how to move forward.
“Everyone’s attention is currently focused on the recent events that have caused a great deal of harm, but in the end, it has nothing to do with the way people voted two years ago.”
Harry, who previously served as Johnson’s chief aide when he was mayor of London, said “90%” of their discussion was “very serious”.
He said the prime minister was “not the diabolical man as some wrongly portray him”.
The newly appointed circulatory doctor said Johnson is aware of questions regarding his ability to continue in a senior job.
He said there has been a move to reorganize No 10 with “professional people who are more pragmatic and more experienced, perhaps less ideological”.
He said Mr Johnson was talking “nonstop” about “making Brexit work, getting us out of the pandemic and all the problems that have happened in the aftermath of the pandemic” and “making sure the settlement creates something meaningful”.
Mr Harry added: “He is aware of the terrible damage that talk of these parties has done, that it has shaken people’s confidence in government and politics in general, and there are questions about his ability to continue as prime minister.”
Harry said Johnson now had to “convince his party and the people on the ground that he is still the man who got a comfortable majority as recently as two years ago”.
The prime minister’s official spokesman did not deny that Mr Johnson and Harry sang together.
“I will not go into the details of private conversations,” he said. “They are old colleagues and have known each other for a while.”
Asked about Mr Harry’s assessment that Mr Johnson was “not a complete clown”, the spokesperson said: “I think he is clearly very committed to the prime minister’s agenda and implementing the public’s priorities.”
The spokesperson added that Mr Harry had been brought in to give Mr Johnson “fair and candid advice” based on his “great experience”.
Separately, The Sun reported that Mr Harry had previously lobbied the government on behalf of Chinese tech giant Huawei.
On these allegations, the Prime Minister’s spokesperson said: “He has advised clients of a private company. This is completely legitimate, it is in the public domain and it is clear that we will not exclude from the government someone who has valuable experience and expertise.”
A Labor spokesman accused the new prime minister’s team of “more nonsense in showing nonsense”.
“Britain is facing a combination of spiraling bills, higher prices and Tory tax increases,” he said.
But the new prime minister’s team decided to start the much-touted ‘reset’ with more clown show nonsense.
“It is already clear that another round of downing street chair change has not changed the fact that this Conservative government is completely unable to continue its work.”