Tom Bower

Can Boris save himself?

The ugly spectacle of Boris Johnson’s self-destruction will reach a new climax at the end of this week. Many think that only a miracle can save the great escapologist from the official Partygate inquiry. The Gambler himself is convinced that his determination will crush his enemies and once again he will survive to fight and

How Charlotte Wahl Johnson’s troubled life shaped her son Boris

Attractive, accomplished and admired as an artist, friend and mother, Charlotte Wahl’s promising life could have been wrecked, first by cruel sicknesses and then by an adulterous husband. Instead, she bravely defied adversity and found happiness in a second marriage, her four children’s success, her friendships and painting. Her death at 79 will be particularly

How the BBC can save itself

All those esteemed generals of hindsight screeching ‘more governance’ as the cure to BBC’s cover-up of the Martin Bashir’s dishonesty 25 years ago share with Lord Dyson a misunderstanding about the essential cause of the Panorama catastrophe and all the ensuing BBC scandals including those involving Jimmy Savile, Cliff Richard and Alistair McAlpine. Namely, ‘Birtism’.

Tom Bower’s Diary: Resuming hostilities with Richard Branson

This week marks another milestone in my 15-year battle with Richard Branson. Ever since he unsuccessfully sued me in 1999 to prevent the publication of my first damning biography, we have exchanged shots. His anointment on Sunday as Britain’s most admired businessman coincides with my appearances to promote Branson: Behind the Mask, my second book.

Diary – 15 November 2012

I have just returned from sunny Los Angeles, visiting Simon Cowell, the subject of my most recent biography. He told me about a visit by Cheryl Cole to his amazing house in Beverly Hills to patch up their arguments. ‘My book is number 1,’ boasted Cheryl. ‘Mine was number 1 for six weeks,’ countered Cowell, enjoying a

Dangerous liaisons | 28 April 2012

Ever since Andy Coulson was forced to resign as Downing Street’s media supremo, Westminster’s malcontents have gossiped about the prospect of Rupert Murdoch wreaking revenge for Cameron’s impulsive creation of an inquiry into press ethics. More recently, cynics whispered that the Sunday Times exposure of Peter Cruddas, the Conservative treasurer offering access to the Camerons

The real villain of BP

At Tony Hayward’s inquisition in Washington last week, the hapless BP chief executive resisted the temptation to condemn his predecessor, Lord Browne of Madingley, by name. Instead, pressed repeatedly to explain why BP had breached safety regulations on over 700 occasions, Hayward described 2006 as the corporation’s worst year. That was John Browne’s last full

Diary – 3 October 2009

A week to enjoy the autumn sunshine by the sea. Gluttony is no longer fashionable but what better way to celebrate my birthday on Monday than to spend a few hours at the Royal Native Oyster restaurant in Whitstable? Sitting by the Kent beach, I confess to consuming 24 oysters, a crab, a lobster, two

A bracing walk through Vienna with Mr Opec

Tom Bower talks to Ali al-Naimi, the Saudi oil minister, at Opec’s meeting and is struck by how this master manipulator escapes censure in the great oil blame game Speculators are back in favour, especially the fund managers bidding up the price of oil. Cursed last year for tipping the world into recession, the same

Brown has come full circle since 1988

Tom Bower, the Prime Minister’s biographer, says that Gordon’s reinvention as the socialist who can save capitalism is just the latest in a series of convenient masks he has donned Gordon Brown would probably prefer to forget his magic moment in the crowded House of Commons exactly 20 years ago, on 1 November 1988. In