UK & World News

  • 6 August 2014, 15:33

The Blond Bombshell's Bombshell

It was the blond bombshell's bombshell.

Boris Johnson will be back in parliament in 2015. That much we know.

"Now is the time to stop the speculation and the shilly-shallying, we might as well knock that on the head and be clear," he told me in an interview.

Officially the Prime Minister and other Cabinet ministers are tweeting and texting their delight that a "star player" is back on the national Conservative team.

A day after BaronessWarsi's unexpected resignation, the PM was dealt another morning surprise on his holidays.

Mr Johnson is one of the very few frontbencher politicians of any party who can cut through to young voters. In return, the Mayor predicts - publicly - that David Cameron is going to win a majority.

The bigger picture is far more complicated and entwined with Tory polling prospects.

If the Conservatives do well and Mr Cameron is returned to Downing Street, Mr Johnson will remain as London Mayor and an MP for a year, confirming to me he would not initially serve in the Cabinet.

The hope is that Mr Johnson will increase the trickle of UKIP voters back to the Conservatives for next May.

If Conservative prospects do not improve, however, Mr Johnson's presence on the national stage could create some problems and lead to factionalism among the candidates seeking to replace Mr Cameron after an election loss.

In that case, in theory, he, as Mayor, has debarred himself from standing in a post-election leadership contest. But he has shown some flexibility in such promises before.

The Mayor however does have some problems explaining why he is breaking a "solemn vow", made in 2012, not to combine the mayoralty with any other public office.

His answer: that he only made that promise for the period that the London economy was in difficulty.

He told me today: "[It was] impossible to do the two things whilst London was going through recession.

"I'm not going to say job done but London was going through tough times and now things are much better."

Having saved London, he now thinks he has time to return to the national stage.

And then, underlining his popularity, he rode off on his bike with a crowd of onlookers taking selfies.

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