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Johnson was speaking to a home affairs select committee about a conversation he had with David Cameron before a memorial service for Damilola Taylor in November. The subject: the MP Damian Green's arrest, and whether the two had spoken about it. According to the Mayor, the ex-Etonites only exchanged a "perfunctory" few words on the matter before Johnson was sent to the back of the cathedral. The reason, according to the Mayor, was that Gordon Brown was "appalled at the idea of [Johnson] sitting next to him". Number 10 denies the charge, furious no doubt at Boris' obfuscation.
If it happened, though, it was probably for their own good. The straight man-funny man combo of Brooding Brown and Japester Johnson would never be permitted to sit together in any common-or-garden inner-city comp, let alone a memorial service. Their double act at the Beijing Olympics closing ceremony, where Brown's dour demeanour was replaced by a gigglesome show as Johnson cracked joke after joke, is proof that they're a combustible pair of rascals.