Boris Johnson is a big fan of Mohammed bin Salman. But why? Back in 2018, the then-British foreign secretary was keen to sing the praises of the Saudi Crown prince. In an article for the Times, Boris was clear that MBS was good news:
‘I believe that the crown prince, who is only 32, has demonstrated by word and deed that he aims to guide Saudi Arabia in a more open direction.’
A few months on, Boris came under fire for accepting a £14,000 ($18,000) trip to Saudi Arabia from the country’s foreign affairs ministry. Only days later, Saudi dissident and journalist Jamal Khashoggi was murdered inside the Saudi consulate in Istanbul.
Boris has, to be fair, since mellowed in his warm words for MBS. But why was he so keen on MBS?
It has been reported today that when he was foreign secretary, Boris would regularly give out his number to world leaders. And one source said they were ’99 percent sure’ the PM texted Mohammed bin Salman.
MBS, of course, has been accused of hacking the phone of Amazon boss Jeff Bezos with a dodgy WhatsApp message. So Cockburn wonders: did MBS do the same to Boris?
This article was originally published on The Spectator’s UK website.