Boris Johnson tried to put Amber Rudd in the back of his car after her famous TV taunt that she wouldn’t trust him to drive her home, she has revealed.
Former Home Secretary Rudd said she had declined an invitation to join Johnson in his official chauffeur-driven limousine as they left a cabinet meeting.
She said the police who witnessed the incident “laughed out loud” at her dismissal of Mr Johnson, who was foreign secretary at the time.
Adding insult to injury, she told him she meant it when she first made the comment in 2016. In a wide-ranging interview, Ms Rudd, who was opposed to leaving the EU, also said:
The main Conservatives who backed Brexit privately admit, “after a drink or two”, that Brexit is a “disaster”.
It was “impossible” for her to be an active Tory because “you have to say Brexit is a success”
When she married the late food critic AA Gill, he was broke and the first thing he did was get her to pay the £120 butcher’s bill.
Rudd caused quite a stir in a televised debate ahead of the EU referendum in June 2016, when he told Johnson that he was “the life and soul of the party… but he’s not the man you want to take you.” home at the end of the night.” ”.
Now she has revealed that she was true to her word when they later served together in Theresa May’s cabinet.
“We had both been in a ministerial meeting and our cars were outside,” Ms Rudd told Sir Craig Oliver, David Cameron’s 10th communications director, on her new podcast series. desperately seeking wisdom.
“He said, ‘Come on, I’m going to take you home.’ I said, ‘No, I’m sorry, I haven’t changed my mind, Boris.
Ms Rudd suggested that Mr Johnson’s offer to give him a ride was a ploy to avenge his television slight, recalling that police protection officers who witnessed the incident “howled with laughter” when he was shot out of the butt.
“Obviously I had told them that I was going to say ‘Come on, get in my car,’ joking,” he said.
Rudd said he does not regret criticizing Johnson during the referendum debate.
She said she had planned the humiliation from the start: “I don’t think it was a surprising thing to say. I heard a sharp intake of breath from the TV audience, but it landed for good reason.”
Ms Rudd claimed that the Tory Brexiteers have now realized that leaving the EU was a failure. “If you talk about Brexit after they’ve had a drink or two, they’ll admit it’s been a disaster,” she said. “It was an act of self-harm.”
Rudd said the Conservatives had “abandoned” her: “I’m not in politics because I can’t stand up and say Brexit is a success. You have to do that to be a conservative spokesperson,” she said.
She also spoke fondly of her ex-husband, the late food writer AA Gill, who died in 2016, saying she had married him without realizing he was a penniless recovering alcoholic.
“He didn’t have a bean to his name. After we were married, he handed me his butcher’s bill for £120.
“When I started seeing him, he kept going to meetings. I had no idea what they were, I thought he was just working hard. Then I realized that he was Alcoholics Anonymous. A more intelligent person could have found out what the meetings were at six in the evening.
“I’ve never met anyone so provocative, interesting and confident, even though I didn’t have a bank account or driver’s license in my late thirties.”
She was determined not to sour when Gill dumped her for ex-model Nicola Formby after she caught them at Heathrow airport returning from a romantic trip.
“A friend told me that her mother had been poisonous to her father and the trouble it caused her. She told me: ‘Don’t let them hate her father.’
“It was painful. And it was hard to let go of the love I had for him. But the love I had for my children was more important.”
Ms Rudd added that she was right to resign as Home Secretary in 2018 over the Windrush immigrant deportation scandal because their mistreatment was “such an egregious sin”.
Sir Craig Oliver’s podcast, ‘Desperately Seeking Wisdom’, is available from Monday on Globalplayer and other podcast apps.