Friday, 24 April 2009

Boris Johnson for Prime Minister (or a quick exit)

I've tried to ignore this story, bit it's just too much fun:

"The Mayor's revelation that he might not stand again, made in the Evening Standard, created shockwaves in Conservative circles.

"It is so early in the electoral cycle that no clear camps have emerged in City Hall. Even the mechanism of a selection process is not in place. But already a clear picture has emerged of some of the likely candidates — and who would be the choice of Central Office."

"[Cameron] would be presented with the choice of a City Hall insider, who would inevitably be close to Mr Johnson and associated with his regime, or finding a candidate to take on Labour in what would be a mid-term referendum on the Government. Already Conservative Central Office figures have formed a view that they would rather have a high-profile candidate who would energise the election, not a local government figure."

Ha ha. Love it.

"One name widely touted is youth worker Shaun Bailey, 37, who is currently Tory candidate for Hammersmith, and a rare commodity as a black Conservative who already has a profile.

A Tory source said: “There is no doubt that Shaun is young, gifted and black, which would make him very difficult for Labour to attack.”

Today Mr Bailey told the Standard he was open to the idea.

Brilliant. Anyone else up for it?

"Within City Hall, Kit Malthouse, is emerging as the clear favourite. Regarded as highly capable, he is already the Mayor's deputy on the Metropolitan Police Authority..."

Good old loyal Kit eh?

Anyone else?

"Other options are the deputy leader of the Tories on the Assembly, James Cleverly, Assembly members Victoria Borwick and Andrew Boff, Conservative candidate for Richmond Park Zac Goldsmith and policy adviser Nick Boles."

Any more for any more? What about Roger? Or Kulveer? Or Steve?

Boris for PM? 

Now I'm always suspicious of these kind of stories, not least because you never know who is spinning them and for what purpose.

But having said that, it has long been an open secret that Boris is at the very least doubtful about wanting to stand for another term.

On top of this, there are a couple of Conservative MPs, who have been telling anyone who will listen, that Boris will make a run for Downing Street as soon as he reasonably can.

Now in order for him to do that, Boris would need to secure a seat in the Commons with enough time for a leadership contest in the run up to the next general election but one. 

And that means standing down in 2012.

At this point, somebody normally points out that there's no way Boris would give up the chance to be Mayor during the Olympics etc etc. But I mean come on. Do you really think he cares that much about waving a flag that he would be willing to drop his only chance to ever become PM?

A Disloyal Band

The other interesting part about this story is the speed at which other tories have rushed to get their names on the ballot.

Unlike Ken, who had (and still has) a loyal team behind him, Boris Johnson entered City Hall with an uneasy mix of London councillors, Cameron placemen, and unknown think tank wonks.

The short term result of this mix was the steady conveyor belt of hirings and speedy firings, eighth floor rows and briefings that marked the start of Boris's term.

The long term result is that at the slightest sign of Boris's sweet white ass heading for the exit, those around him have rushed to boot it out the door.


CJ said...

Here's one reason to vote for Boris next time then , vote for Boris for Mayor or get Boris for PM!

AdamB said...

Or both. He could do with another job.

Chris said...

Boris would be a fucking disastrous Prime Minister. End of.

Tom said...

"There is no doubt that Shaun is young, gifted and black"

They are getting good, if they can spot when their own candidates are black.

This is a shot across the bows of the borough boys, telling them to back off. Why is Nick Boles even being mentioned after last year? Why is the much more capable Sir Simon Milton expressly *not* being mentioned when his old mate Kit is?

Still, it's fun that they're celebrating a year of Boris by stoking up the old CCO/borough fight from last May.

AdamB said...

Yeah I was wondering that about Milton. Kit and Simon are not busom buddies. Perhaps that has something to do about it. Or perhaps this is a shot across Boris's boughs from Team Cameron in response to the Standard interview. That would make the most sense.

Don't Call Me Dave said...

Coleman for Mayor anyone?

Helen said...

On The Politics Show earlier today Jon Sopel asked Boris if he had designs on No 10 and he did exactly what I expected him to - he looked away before he answered, which meant he was lying.

AdamB said...

Lying? Boris? What piffle.

Anonymous said...

Helen said...
"On The Politics Show earlier today Jon Sopel asked Boris if he had designs on No 10 and he did exactly what I expected him to..."

That's a lie.

" - he looked away before he answered, which meant he was lying."

Of course it did. While you were drooling over his blond shock, did you manage to actually listen to his words as well?

What was the lie?

My sense is that Boris is quite an honest fellow, for a politician -- maybe that's why people voted for him. His interview with Sopel was more honest than, for example .....the budget speech.

AdamB said...

Slipping into the shadows again AofE? Dear oh dear.

You do realise that Boris was sacked for lying. Twice.

Anonymous said...

"You do realise that Boris was sacked for lying. Twice."

I know of one occasion when it was alleged, but we only had Michael Howard's word for it. Also, the precise detail of the alleged lie was never made public, so the seriousness of the alleged improbity is likewise unknown. It suited Howard politically to render what might have been an ambiguity or misunderstanding as a lie. We don't know.

What was the other occasion?