FORMER Scottish Conservative leader Ruth Davidson has said Boris Johnson once told her that his time as foreign secretary was like being “imprisoned in a steel condom”. 

Johnson took on the role in 2016 and resigned in 2018 over Theresa May’s Brexit plans. 

Speaking to LBC’s Iain Dale at a recent Edinburgh Fringe event, Baroness Davidson said: “He once described foreign secretary to me as like being enclosed in a steel condom. 

“I found it odd because I hadn’t asked him. 

“I think he meant the amount of attention he had from civil servants to make sure he didn’t say anything. Imprisoned in a steel condom is what he said,” she added, in comments reported by The Daily Telegraph.

Davidson resigned the leadership of the Scottish Tories in August 2019 not long after Johnson became Prime Minister and given a life peerage in the House of Lords in July 2021.

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She continued: “I’ve never heard that as a phrase. It would certainly affect performance, but this is not my area of expertise as I think you’ve already covered.”

The 43-year-old has criticised Johnson in the past, including in early July when she said it was “arrant nonsense” for him to remain in his post until a new leader is elected. 

Meanwhile, Downing Street has signalled it is still committed to assisting a parliamentary inquiry into whether Johnson lied to MPs over lockdown parties in No 10. 

Leading allies of the Prime Minister have attacked the investigation by the Commons Privileges Committee and denounced it as a “witch hunt”. 

It follows reports that a number of the committee members – including some of the Conservatives – have made public comments critical of Johnson’s conduct during the “partygate” scandal. 

However, the Prime Minister’s official spokesman said No 10 stood ready to assist the committee in its inquiries – and could continue to do so after Johnson leaves office next month. 

The spokesman also defended Johnson's holiday with his wife, Carrie, in Slovenia amid criticism he was “missing in action” during the cost of living crisis. 

The Prime Minister has not made an appearance since the Bank of England warned a recession was coming. 

Nicola Sturgeon has called on Johnson to hold an emergency summit with all four nations to discuss how to tackle the ongoing crisis. 

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The spokesman said: “I think the public understand that it is not unusual for the Prime Minister – for ministers – to take some time off during the summer recess.”

They also confirmed that the trip had not involved the use of taxpayers money, but declined to say whether Johnson – who is now back in Downing Street – had paid for it himself. 

The spokesman added: “No taxpayers’ money was used for this. This was a private holiday. Any declarations will be made if required.”