The Times Diary: Johnson, rival to Gladstone | News

When Andrew Gimson signed up to write his first biography of Boris Johnson 20 years ago the man who would be world king was initially thrilled, though he later offered £100,000 for him not to write it. Boris went into Victorian statesman mode and grandly told him, “I will put my papers at your full disposal,” Gimson says. He discovered this meant his unpaid parking tickets. Gimson added in a talk at the Petworth Festival that he was surprised when Johnson said the PM he would most like to have met was Gladstone. “You’re much more like Disraeli,” Gimson told him. Johnson’s reasoning was based, as usual, on one-upmanship. “I wanted to meet Gladstone,” he said, “so that I could satisfy myself that I could

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