Boris 2020

owen-boris-2020

The Commentariat that told you the Tories couldn’t win a majority and Corbyn was a no-hoper now tell us that George Osborne is a shoo-in to succeed Cameron in 2019 before becoming PM in 2020. Unfortunately Boris hasn’t got the memo…

Last night at a drinks reception (excellent cheese and cracker canapes sourced by the host’s favourite artisan cheesemonger) for his 2020 think-tank, Owen Paterson announced that he would be drawing up a set of robust Tory policies for whoever wants to stand as leader to adopt. The room was a who’s who of right-wingers, from Norman Tebbit to Charles Moore, though no likely leadership candidates showed their face at the actual event. Timely then to mention that the night before Guido spied Owen Paterson and Boris Johnson deep in a conspiratorial conversation in parliament…

Boris Talks Up “Upsides” of Leaving EU

boris-st-george

Boris slipped to third place in the ConHome Tory leader stakes earlier this week, so he has to do something to stop the rot:

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“If you don’t [succeed in renegotiation], you should always be prepared to walk away. To answer your question, would London flourish outside [of the EU]? Yes of course, of course it would. You can argue the toss about the ways which we might be disadvantaged and there are obviously some anxieties. But yes, it would certainly flourish and I recall the prophets of doom who said that the City would collapse if we didn’t join the euro, remember that – they said Throgmorton street would dissolve under a giant plague of rats  … Absolute rubbish. London’s more powerful and successful still than any other financial centre in the world, even than New York. It didn’t happen. There is every reason to think, if we got the right free trade deal, that we would flourish. There are downsides to leaving but there are also upsides.”

One way to win back his wavering grassroot support…

Boris Collapse: Third in Tory Leader Poll

More bad news for Boris in the monthly ConHome next Tory leader survey. Osborne tops the poll for the first time and BoJo slips to third, behind Saj. The first time Boris has been outside of the top two for two years…

Rich’s Monday Morning View

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Quote of the Day

Boris tells Kay Burley on Theresa May:

“I don’t know why you’re saying she’s my boss”

May Does Not Authorise Water Cannon

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Lucky Boris, who had promised to be blasted by water cannon to reassure Londoners that they are safe…

Guido is surprised she passed on the chance to pour cold water on a leadership rival…

Bad news for Boris… he’s already bought three for a quarter of a million.

Zac and Boris: Heathrow Not Happening

The long-awaited Davies Commission

“has unanimously concluded that the proposal for a new northwest runway at Heathrow Airport, combined with a significant package of measures to address its environmental and community impacts, presents the strongest case and offers the greatest strategic and economic benefits – providing around 40 new destinations from the airport and more than 70,000 new jobs by 2050”

Here comes trouble.

Zac Goldsmith, the Tories’ star mayoral candidate, confirms this morning that he will resign his seat if the government presses ahead with with recommendations. “It’s a pledge of course I’d honour,” he tells LBC:

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Boris meanwhile tells the BBC “my services as a bulldozer blocker won’t be required” because a new Heathrow runway simply “isn’t going to happen”.

David Cameron would avoid all this if he kept his 2009 promise: “No ifs, no buts, there’ll be no third runway at Heathrow”. Good timing for the first Tory mayoral hustings on Saturday…

Boris Gets a Pay Rise

Last week the Telegraph gave new Tory MP Victoria Borwick a slap for raking in £100,000 a year for her three jobs. For some reason they neglected to look into the outside interests of another, more prominent London politician.

Boris Johnson infamously described his rumoured £250,000 Telegraph salary as “chicken feed”. This month BoJo has declared a £22,916.66 payment for his column, which, if we assume is a monthly fee, means they pay him £275,000 a year. That would appear to be a 25 grand pay rise since 2009.

The £67,000-a-year Uxbridge MP has also landed an £88,000 advance from Hodder and Stoughton “for a book as yet unwritten”, on top of his £140,000 salary as London Mayor. He also made another grand “for sale of Chinese subrights for book already written”By Guido’s calculations that leaves him just shy of £600,000 a year…

UPDATE: Boris will have to take a pay cut from his Mayoral salary, down to £47,000 for the the final year of his term. Still leaving him on a cool half a million.

Boris’ Painfully Awkward Wheelchair Gaffe

BoJo had his very own Joe Biden moment at the State of London debate last night:

Boris: “Why aren’t you, why aren’t you even standing? That’s the question we all want to know.”

Nicholas: “Because I’m in a wheelchair.”

Boris: “Sorry.”

Well at least he didn’t get everyone to “stand up for Nicholas…”

UPDATE: Boris’ side of the story is that he was in fact addressing Nick Ferrari, not Nick in the audience, and was asking Ferrari jokingly why he isn’t standing for Mayor. Guido has rewound the video so readers can make their own minds up:

NF: “How the hell does that work. You don’t want to see something so you buy it [water cannon].

BJ: “I don’t want to see nuclear weapons used, do you?”

NF: “No, but I didn’t buy them”

BJ: “Would you get rid of them?”

NF: “I’m not the mayor”

BJ: “Ahhhh”

NF: “Right we move to other questions. Nicholas at Docklands, where are you sir, can you wave at me? We’re over there, Mr Mayor. Go ahead Nicholas if you would, sir.”

BJ: “Why aren’t you, why aren’t you even standing? That’s the question we all want to know.”

Nicholas: “Because I’m in a wheelchair.”

BJ: “Sorry.”

We report, you decide. But it looks like this story doesn’t have legs…

BoJo: We Must Be Willing to Go

EU REFORM

“Now is the chance to build that coalition for reform. It may not be easy, and it may take a while – beyond 2016, I am sure”, says Boris this morning. After telling the Telegraph he was against an early referendum, the Mayor dodged the question on whether he would resign when asked by Sky earlier:

“You’ve got to be able to walk away. Now the PM is going to be successful in the negotiations but if he doesn’t get the deal he wants he’s got to be open to Britain deciding there can be an alternative future.”

Helpful, when the PM is backtracking on last night’s “over-firm” briefing that “If you want to be part of the Government you have to take the view that we are engaged in an exercise of renegotiation to have a referendum and that will lead to a successful outcome.” Which seems to pre-judge the outcome…

Chuka Boris Flop

Ohhh, punchy.

Oh wait:

So Chuka seems to be saying Boris was meant to have seen his tweet and got to the chamber in exactly 2 minutes?

It’s insight that like that made him think he had a hope in hell of leading the Labour Party…

Boris Kits Out Met Police With Body Cams

police cmaera

Almost all of London’s police officers will be kitted out with body mounted body cameras by March next year. Following a trial run, Boris has ordered in 20,000 of the GoPro-esque devices which will become compulsory accessories for bobbies on the front line.

The idea is that police will be forced to become more accountable for their actions. They also provide the police with a 20,000 cameras increase in surveillance footage.

Let’s hope there are no incidents of the camera’s being “accidentally turned off” at the moment the suspect tripped…

Boris Honeymoon Over as Hammond Slaps the New MP

If Boris thought he would be welcomed back into the parliamentary fray as a great statesman, he was quickly put in his place during Monday’s Queen’s Speech debate about Britain’s standing in the world:

Boris was quickly on his feet, trying to boost his foreign policy credentials:

“What can we do to prevent the appalling tragedy that might befall the great archaeological site in Palmyra, is there any hope he can offer?”

The Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond began courteously enough in his reply:

“I know my Honourable Friend is extremely concerned about this issue, but he will know that ISIL, for what it’s worth, have given some limited assurances about its intentions in regard to the site.”

But then he gave his potential rival a gentle slap:

“The problem of course is the principal instrument that the coalition has to deploy is air power, and he can well understand the difficulty of deploying air power to protect historical sites – that doesn’t make sense.”

Just as Boris will “well understand” a side swipe when he sees one…

BoJo: I am Back

Bow down… but seriously, check out that sexy look from Rees Mogg. Ohhh.

Boris Tells Unionised Cabbies: “It’s Called the Free Market”

Ever the equal opportunity offender, Boris has evened up his dig at Uber by antagonising black cab drivers. He told a hostile audience of cabbies in the London Assembly public gallery:

“You are dealing with a huge economic force which is consumer choice and the taxi trade needs to recognise that. Everywhere I go I see yellow lights and I can see the taxi trade is dying and it grieves me, but it is very, very difficult to fight a huge change in consumer preference.

[Heckler shouts that cabbies are being undercut.]

Yes they are. It’s called the free market… There’s a rail strike on Tuesday, you might get some fares.”

Yet rather than take advantage of the strike, cabbies are instead planning on spending the day protesting themselves…

Cameron’s Uber Pals Square Up Against Boris

uber rachel

Boris Johnson’s announcement last week that he would like to reduce the number of private hire vehicles on London’s roads have paved the way for new Uber hire Rachel Whetstone to mark her territory. Boris’ thinly-veiled attack on private car hire app Uber has sent the company’s increasingly effective communications department into overdrive. A letter challenging Boris to a debate from Jo Bertram, the head of Uber’s business in the UK, was conveniently leaked to the FT this morning.

Whetstone, the wife of former Cameron Guru Steve Hilton was brought in by Uber as their communications chief to deal with these sort of situations and will be orchestrating Uber UK’s fight back against Boris. Let the lobbying commence…

Quote of the Day

Boris is asked why he’s “such a weirdo”:

“mixture of genes and upbringing I expect”

Boris Johnson Slaps Down Guardian’s Divestment Crusade

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Boris Johnson has roundly rejected a motion from the London Assembly that called for City Hall’s pension fund to pull out of fossil fuel investments. The motion, inspired by the Guardian’s nutty divestment campaign, called on Boris to put the retirement of London’s public workers at risk in order to stop the “havoc of climate change“.

Boris, who famously said  “no stone should be left unfracked in the cause of keeping the lights on,” poo-pooed the motion, likening the idea of pulling investment from the companies that keep the worlds poor warm to jumping off a cliff edge.

Let’s hope the next Mayor is equally sound…

Marr-vellous Ding Dong: Boris V Miliband

They might be doing it at PMQs every week soon…

Boris: “The Cloud Has Been Lifted From Tower Hamlets”

Boris Johnson has responded to the news that Lufter Rahman is a goner:

“I’m very glad that justice has taken its course and the cloud has been lifted from Tower Hamlets.

It’s vital we move on with new elections.”

No word from Ken Livingstone…

UPDATE: Ken speaks:

“I’d take Eric Pickles to court.

[…] Read the rest

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Quote of the Day

According to the Mail, when Tory MP Marcus Fysh called Venezuela a ‘socialist experiment gone wrong’ at PMQs, Jeremy Corbyn mouthed:

“What a complete w*nker.”

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