Boris Johnson told MP’s that his F number has dropped to its lowest rate ever, blaming his spell in hospital with Covid-19, the birth of his new son and social distancing measures put in place in March.
He told the 1922 committee: ‘There was also a spell late last year when my F number plummeted disastrously, after a dispute about a laptop computer and the temporary loss of my special address book. But I hope we’ve put that behind us. Now that my new son, em, em, er Donald, NO, er Wilfred, sorry – Carrie and I agreed to differ about Donald…
‘Now that Wilfred is here everything is well and I have asked the Health Secretary Matt Hancock to brief me privately about er, when the F number might be legitimately er raised again, and I would follow the science on that but he looked embarrassed and smirked nervously and backed away. Then I asked Chris Whitty and I am afraid he misunderstood completely and I’m thinking hard about how I might get out of the date I promised with him. Then I was going to ask the SAGE boss Dido Harding, but calling her on the phone I experienced an unfortunate slip of the tongue, possibly Freudian, and Dildo and I are not on speakers. DIDO DIDO DIDO!’
Tory insiders say privately that the Prime Minister’s F number needs to be consistently high for him to function, and it may well be his seemingly lacklustre performance is due to it slipping.
One minister said, ‘Mr Johnson’s C number has increased recently by one, as far as we know, but it’s still impossible to actually put a reliable figure on it and it could go up without anyone knowing anything about it.’