Press freedom

It’s time to pick a side in Boris Johnson’s war on the media

Boris Johnson is the first party leader of the media age. Winston Churchill and Michael Foot wrote extensively. But Johnson is a journalist. Before he went into politics, producing Tory commentary and editing this magazine were the achievements that defined him. And yet no modern prime minister has shown a greater determination to limit media scrutiny. Whether it is banning ministers from appearing on the Today programme and Good Morning Britain, or banning them and their special advisers from talking to journalists, Johnson is revealing himself to be a brooding suspicious politician, wholly at odds with his cheeky chappie persona. Even when a terrorist attacked civilians on a London street,