Mercer: We Have to Pick Someone Who Wins – That’s Boris

The Tory leadership field has got marginally less crowded after outside contender Johnny Mercer formally announced on Peston that he wouldn’t be running – and gave a ringing endorsement of Boris Johnson instead:

“The one thing we’ve been missing is leadership… it’s very clear to me that there’s one individual who can try and govern from the centre-right… and that is Boris Johnson…

“We are in parlous times and the only individual who is going to beat Farage and Corbyn and win an election… we have to pick someone who wins.”

Mercer hints that he will be a big part of Team Boris, he reveals that he’s had “many conversations” with him and that “we’re going to try and do it together, go out try and inspire the party, bring them together”. Dominic Grieve and Wes Streeting are predictably amused but there has been a big softening of attitudes towards Boris among many longtime “anyone but Boris” Tories, he has been publicly courting the ‘One Nation’ caucus, even Ruth Davidson has now said she can work with him. Panicking Tory MPs are watching their party’s catastrophic slide in the polls and desperately looking around for a winner, many are coming to the same conclusion as Mercer…

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