Sometimes Boris Johnson’s unusual representations of the truth – what are sometimes impolitely termed “lies” – hide in plain sight, so to speak. 

His years as a journalist have endowed him with the capacity for the most brazen, floridly outrageous statements, and he has developed a rare capacity to deliver them with a straight face and without a hint of blushing. 

So after the most acrimonious Nato summit anyone can recall, insults flying and deep strategic differences openly on display, Mr Johnson confirmed the alliance to be “rock solid”, its soon-to-be-30 member states sheltering beneath its “giant shield of solidarity”.

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