This is the story of a politician incapable of living within his means but talented beyond measure at finding people to help him live beyond them. It’s the story of how that dependence on others sullied him and them. All of which leads to one simple question: just who is funding Boris Johnson?
Why this story?
Boris Johnson may no longer be prime minister but rumours of his return continue to persist. Since leaving Number 10, he’s made a small fortune in less than a year off the back of his premiership and has received the single biggest personal donation ever in British politics.
In January this year, a story broke which raised questions about Boris Johnson’s time in office. At the time Richard Sharp was vying to be the new Chairman of the BBC, he was also helping to put Johnson – then prime minister – in touch with a man who would guarantee an £800,000 line of credit.
Now Richard Sharp is in the firing line, facing questions from within the BBC and from the Select Committee that helped hire him. What exactly happened in those months, how did Johnson secure that line of credit, and what does it mean for the credibility and dignity of the office of Prime Minister. That’s what we sought to find out. Matt Russell, Producer
Illustration by Rebecca Hendin for Tortoise