I asked him how the appointment came about. Guto told me: "I met Boris on Sunday afternoon for drinks at his house and he was on terrific form. I accepted the job this morning, signed all the vetting forms this afternoon and resigned my job with Fleishman Hillard at 6pm this evening. We were going to tell the Evening Standard tomorrow... but you've beaten me to it."
I joked that he would no doubt be earning an enormous salary but he quickly pointed out that if he was in it for the money he would have stayed in PR. He was quick to pay tribute to his former employer, Fleishman Hillard:
I genuinely feel Kevin Bell and his team have been very good towards me. I was very happy there and they have been fantastic about me going. It was a bit of a shock and I had certainly not expected to leave after such a short time. I am deeply embarrassed at one level about moving on so swiftly. It was only because this job is such a unique opportunity that I decided to do it. It will be a fantastic experience to work for such a brilliant guy who has really caught the imagination of Londoners.I asked Guto about rumours that he had been approached to work for David Cameron some time ago. In short, I asked him, why Boris, not Dave? He confirmed that some "conversations were had" but it went no further. He was happy working as North American Business Correspondent and his family were happy living in the US. "Being in the private sector, albeit for a short time, kicked me into shape," he says, clearly more willing to take a few risks nowadays than he would have been able to within the BBC.
I've been to San Diego and Washington DC and have just spent four weeks advising Morgan Tsvangirai - a real rollercoaster of an experience. If I can handle Zimbabwean politics I should be able to handle Boris Johnson!
On a personal level, I really wish Guto luck. On a professional level I know from my own dealings with him over the years that he's going to do a fantastic job.
PS With apologies to the Evening Standard....