I met Boris Johnson early in my first term at Oxford and we went on to share a house together. It was obvious even before he became President of the Union that he was the most talented person of my generation.
He was a scholar at Balliol, a college famous for what H H Asquith – one of several old boys who became prime minister – called “effortless superiority”, that annoying British ability to excel without apparently having put any work into it.
Boris embodies this to an extent he might call preternatural. I have always been proud to call this extravagantly gifted man my friend, so now I am going to defend him in public.