UK & World News

  • 7 August 2014, 1:13

Boris Johnson: 'I Will Stand As MP In 2015'

David Cameron has welcomed the news Boris Johnson will stand as an MP in 2015 saying he wants his "star players on the pitch".

At a speech on Europe in Central London Mr Johnson said it was time to "stop dancing around" and that "in all probability" he would "try to find somewhere to stand in 2015".

Mr Cameron, who is on holiday in Portugal, instantly welcomed the news tweeting: "Great news that Boris plans to stand at next year's general election - I've always said I want my star players on the pitch."

After backing the Prime Minister's stance on reforming the EU during his speech, Mr Johnson was asked about his intention to stand as an MP and replied: "I think we've danced around it an awfully long time now, and as you know the Prime Minister ages ago said he would welcome me back - very kind of him to say so - and has also been pretty clear that I can't endlessly go on dodging these questions as I've tried to do.

"So, let me put it this way - I have not got any particular seat lined up but I do think in all probability - since you can't do these things furtively, I might as well be absolutely clear - in all probability I will try to find somewhere to stand in 2015."

There was speculation last month that Mr Johnson might try for a seat in Uxbridge, where veteran Conservative MP John Randall is standing down. Bury St Edmunds, where David Ruffley resigned last month after being cautioned for assaulting his partner, is also a possibility.

However, Mr Johnson would not be drawn on which seat he would pursue and said it was a matter for the Conservative Association.

He told Sky News he would not accept a Cabinet seat were the Tories to continue in Government after the General Election as he would need to focus on his role as mayor - his tenure runs out in 2016.

He added it was perfectly possible for him to be mayor and MP  for a year - he did hold the post while he was still MP for Henley in 2008.

There has been speculation that Mr Johnson is positioning for a leadership contest should Mr Cameron fail to deliver victory at the General Election next year.

Asked if his return would pave the way for him to lead the party, Mr Johnson said: "No, what I said was - I don't want to revert to the kind of weasel mode here - what I said was we've got party conference coming up in almost two months time exactly.

"I don't think we're going to have this thing go on endlessly ... I've said what I have to say on that. It may all go wrong but I think the likelihood is I am going to have to give it a crack..."

However, Mr Cameron will recognise the incredibly popular Mr Johnson will be a significant advantage in the 2015 election campaign. Commentators suggest he will be the perfect antidote to the UKIP surge.

In his speech in central London, Mr Johnson said Britain should not be afraid to leave the EU if the Prime Minister failed to thrash out a better deal with Europe but added that he "shared Mr Cameron's vision of Europe".

The mayor had consistently refused to discuss the possibility of a 2015 run but Mr Cameron and George Osborne had both made it clear they wanted him on the campaign team next year.

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