Guto Harri told BBC it faced 'huge public fight' over Boris Johnson coverage

Boris Johnson's former comms chief threatened to use his contacts in the press to confront the BBC over its coverage of the London Mayor, The Guardian has reported today.

Guto Harri: reportedly told the BBC that ‘good friends in No 10’ could be deployed against it
Guto Harri: reportedly told the BBC that ‘good friends in No 10’ could be deployed against it
Guto Harri has been reported to have told former BBC Westminster News editor Will Walden – who has subsequently been picked to be the Mayor’s new head of comms – that the BBC faced a ‘huge public fight’ if an interview about Johnson went ahead with his unauthorised biographer, Sonia Purnell.

Harri is also reported to have told the BBC that ‘good friends in No 10’ could also be deployed against them.

Harri announced last week that he was moving to become director of comms at News International, to be replaced by Walden at City Hall.

The news comes ahead of a day in which former PM Tony Blair will speak before the Leveson Inquiry into press ethics, which is now focusing on the relationship between press and politicians.

When contacted by The Guardian, Harri said: ‘It was my job at City Hall to ensure fair coverage for the mayoralty and I did what I could over four years to deliver that in a professional and courteous manner.’

He insisted that his comments about No 10 were not a threat but merely reflected the broader frustrations he claims were felt not only inside City Hall but in ‘central government, the Olympics family and some within BBC London itself’ about the relentlessly hostile coverage.


Before commenting please read our rules for commenting on articles.

If you see a comment you find offensive, you can flag it as inappropriate. In the top right-hand corner of an individual comment, you will see 'flag as inappropriate'. Clicking this prompts us to review the comment. For further information see our rules for commenting on articles.

comments powered by Disqus

Latest Articles

Former White House press secretary Dee Dee Myers to join Warner Bros

Former White House press secretary Dee Dee Myers to join Warner Bros

Warner Bros has appointed former White House press secretary Dee Dee Myers as EVP for worldwide corporate communications and public affairs, effective September 2.

Max Clifford trial jury loses second member as deliberations enter third day

Max Clifford trial jury loses second member as deliberations enter third day

The jury in the trial of celebrity publicist Max Clifford is down to 10 people after another juror was discharged this morning, on the third day of deliberations about its verdicts on 11 charges of indecent assault.

Edelman takes a ride on Branson's slow-motion space adventure

Edelman takes a ride on Branson's slow-motion space adventure

Virgin Galactic is probably on every PR agency's dream assignment list, but previous delays to Richard Branson's space venture suggest it may not be a complete blast.

We Are Social owner BlueFocus reports revenue growth of 65 per cent

We Are Social owner BlueFocus reports revenue growth of 65 per cent

Chinese marketing services group BlueFocus has reported a revenue increase of 64.8 per cent year on year to more than $578m (£343m) in 2013.

Three more agencies sign up to PR Internships For All campaign

Three more agencies sign up to PR Internships For All campaign

Brunswick, Cohn & Wolfe and MSL Group London have joined the PRWeek/PRCA initiative to boost diversity in the PR industry, which has also attracted support from Leeds Metropolitan University's Business School.