Boris Johnson reveals he will run for Parliament in 2015

06 August 2014 -


London Mayor ends years of speculation as he announces plan for Commons return

Matt Packer

With characteristic vagueness – barely masking a determined ambition – London Mayor Boris Johnson said today that he will, “in all probability”, stand as a constituency MP in next year’s General Election.

His announcement follows years of speculation over his post-Mayoral career plans, ending queries that have nudged at the edges of David Cameron’s premiership almost to the extent that commentary on Gordon Brown’s intentions undermined Tony Blair’s era in Downing Street. The statement also raises the prospect that Johnson has a long game in mind that would steer him towards the Tory leadership in the event the party loses power next May.

That would put him in pole position for his own prime ministerial bid in 2020.

Johnson spoke at the UK base of media company Bloomberg, with the leadership nuggets tucked away amid words on his EU policy. In a question from the floor, he was asked about the possibility of taking over the Uxbridge and South Ruislip seat, from which current MP – and fellow Tory – Sir John Randall will retire next year.

“We’ve danced around it an awfully long time now,” Johnson said, “and as you know the prime minister said ages ago that he would welcome me back – and it was very kind of him to say so. He’s also been pretty clear that I can’t endlessly go on dodging these questions as I’ve tried to do.”

Assembled journalists laughed nervously at that admission.

“So let me put it this way: you ask about Uxbridge… I haven’t got any particular seat lined up, but I do think that in all probability – since you can’t do these things furtively – I might as well be clear that I will try to find somewhere to stand in 2015.”

Throwing in a dash of expectations management – along with some reverse psychology – he added: “It is highly likely that I will be unsuccessful in that venture, by the way – you should never underestimate the possibility of things going badly wrong. But one thing that is absolutely clear is that I will serve out my mandate here in London.”

While that may prove to be a controversial move, entailing Johnson to serve as an MP in parallel with the end of his Mayoral term, there is in fact a precedent: former Mayor Ken Livingstone served out the end of his final term as Labour MP for Brent East as his first administration got underway at City Hall in 2000.

For more on how different leadership styles have evolved over time, sign up to this CMI interactive presentation, taking place in Bath on 23 September.

Image of Boris Johnson courtesy of Featureflash / Shutterstock

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