Socialist Worker

Did Boris Johnson help plot against News of the World journalist?

Issue No. 2261

London mayor Boris Johnson and fellow Etonian Darius Guppy were recorded on tape in 1990 planning to beat up a News of the World journalist.

Guppy was jailed for fraud in 1993. In 1990 he was worried that News of the World journalist Stuart Collier was sniffing around him.

Guppy wanted to scare Collier off—but didn’t have his address or phone number. So he turned to Johnson.

On the tape, Johnson asks, “How badly hurt will he be?”

Guppy says, “He will probably get a couple of black eyes and a, and a cracked rib or something like that.” He adds that the beating would involve “Nothing which you didn’t suffer in rugby” and Johnson replies, “Yeah, yeah, good.”

The questions of exactly what Johnson did, or where he could have accessed personal details such as an address, remain unanswered.

Johnson was working for the Daily Telegraph at the time. He kept his job after the tape was revealed.

Last year he said that the claims of phone hacking were “codswallop”.

Johnson, who calls himself the “democratically accountable authority for policing in London”, did not press the Met to investigate the hacking further.

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