Boris ‘squared up’ to Charles in extraordinary ‘bust up’ over Rwanda

Boris Johnson says he'll defend Rwanda policy to Prince Charles

Boris Johnson’s former chief spin doctor, Guto Harri, has revealed the then-PM “squared off” against Prince Charles during a tense 15-minute exchange at 2022’s Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting in Rwanda. Mr Johnson “went in quite hard” against the Prince, who had reportedly criticised the Government’s plans to deport illegal migrants to Rwanda. 

Mr Harri reveals he downplayed the row to the press at the time, however, in reality relations between the two were very poor. 

Despite Mr Johnson saying he and the then-Prince had had “a good old chinwag”, the pair actually had a tense stand-off around the Government’s Rwanda plan and a planned speech by Prince Charles about slavery. 

The Prime Minister slammed the King and his staff for allowing his opposition to the deportations to become public, telling him: “If you didn’t say it, we both know your people could ring the newspapers and kill the story”

“The fact they haven’t done that says it all.”

Despite hoping to move the conversation on to a less disagreeable topic, Mr Johnson asked then-Prince Charles to compare notes on their upcoming speeches to CHOGM. 

While Mr Johnson said he was planning an “upbeat tribute to the success of so many Commonwealth countries”, the Prince revealed he planned to argue for a “deeper understanding of slavery’s enduring impact”. 

According to Mr Johnson’s spin doctor at the time, “the PM was appalled”. 

He warned Prince Charles: “I wouldn’t talk about slavery or you’ll end up being forced to sell the Duchy of Cornwall to pay reparations to those whose ancestors built it.”

Buckingham Palace has since publicly stated that it supports research into the Royal Family’s own history with slavery. 

Mr Harri reports that relations between Boris Johnson and Prince Charles “never fully recovered”, adding the King will have been “relieved” that Boris left No. 10 by the time he ascended to the throne. 

Mr Harri’s revelations come ahead of a new series of podcasts by him, released this Thursday. 

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