Boris: Times report 'fanciful'

By Alyson Fixter

Spectator
editor Boris Johnson has denied a Times report that he is planning to
announce his resignation from the magazine on 8 December.

The
newspaper said on Wednesday that Johnson, editor for six years, would
time his departure to coincide with the result of the Conservative
Party leadership contest, in which he has backed fellow Old Etonian
David Cameron.

It is thought he is likely to be offered a front bench job by Cameron if he wins the race.

Spectator
publisher Andrew Neil has said he is unhappy about having an editor who
is combining a career in journalism with one in politics, and Johnson
himself told Desert Island Discs presenter Sue Lawley earlier this
month that doing so was “ludicrous”.

But Johnson said that the story was “completely fanciful”.

He
added: “I am a mere toenail on the body politic. I am flattered that
all this attention is being paid to the vagaries of my career, but it
is all a bit previous, frankly.”

According to The Times, three
names are being touted as possibilities for Johnson’s replacement: The
Spectator’s political editor, Peter Oborne; Sunday Telegraph deputy
editor Matthew d’Ancona; and Quentin Letts, the Daily Mail’s
parliamentary sketchwriter.

Johnson’s editorship of The Spectator
has been an eventful one, coloured by the extracurricular activities of
its staff – including publisher Kimberley Quinn, who had an affair with
David Blunkett, and associate editor Rod Liddle, who left his wife and
children for a secretary at the magazine.

Johnson himself was
sacked from the shadow cabinet last year after admitting he had lied
about an affair with columnist Petronella Wyatt.

The goings-on
were turned into a satirical play, Who’s The Daddy?, and were also
depicted in a recent Channel 4 drama A Very Social Secretary.

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