Salisbury — Boris Johnson does not like losing. John Bercow, the former House of Commons speaker, recalls how he once played tennis against the prime minister. Bercow turned up with new balls that would bounce normally but Johnson threw in some balls he had discovered in the undergrowth “without any fur on them that hadn’t been used for probably 100 years”. 

“It was a sort of trick at my expense,” Bercow says with heavy irony. “But he was a good sport. He took his 6-0, 6-0, 6-0 defeat with grace and equanimity.”

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