4 Feb 2022

The circle of life is reaching its conclusion politically for Boris Johnson, says journalist Matthew d’Ancona

Following the resignation of five key aides in just 24 hours, the prime minister met dozens of Downing Street staff today.

He attempted to reassure them by quoting from the Disney film The Lion King, explaining that “change is necessary even though it’s tough”.

This was not an off the cuff reference. It turns out that the prime minister’s interest in the story goes back years.

In fact – he referenced the film within a minute of starting his maiden speech in parliament in 2001.

And even before he became an MP – when he was editor of the Spectator – he commissioned an article inspired by the idea the movie is a modern-day Hamlet.

We spoke to the journalist he commissioned, Matthew d’Ancona, who is the co-founder of Tortoise Media, and Pippa Crerar, the political editor of The Daily Mirror, who first broke the story about parties in Downing Street.