Conservative conference: Is Boris Johnson a future Tory leader?
- 9 October 2012
- From the section UK Politics
Mayor of London Boris Johnson has wowed the Conservative conference but do activists and observers believe he is a future leader?
Underneath the buffoonery, there is a lot of depth and intelligence. He is a very clever man with a long way to go. Can he be leader? He is not even an MP at the moment. We are talking some years down the line. I would not rule it out but it is not going to happen next week.
For all his jokes, he is a very serious and intellectual politician who knows what we wants for London. If you strip away all the jokes and the laughter, he has a very positive message of support for David Cameron and his government. Is he a future leader? It is too soon to say and there is no vacancy anyway. I think the leadership thing is being drawn up by the media and a few of his most faithful followers.
I think his appeal is that he marries both style and substance. Absolutely he could be a future leader. People said he could not be mayor and that would be ridiculous, a joke. He proved them all wrong. Where I do take issue is with people who say he is trying to challenge David Cameron. He has had this ambition for a long time. He is very patient. I don't think he will replace David Cameron but he could succeed him.
His whole approach to politics is interesting. His combination of humour, a clear message and a specific style of public relations is very different. I don't think there is anyone similar in the whole of Europe. As for being leader one day, that is in the hands of the people.
I would like to see him as a future leader and prime minister and I think it is realistic. I think we are in deep trouble and I don't have much time for David Cameron and his left-leaning views. The hall was full when he spoke - it won't be when David Cameron speaks. Boris Johnson has much more traditional Conservative views than Mr Cameron. I think he is one for the future. Whether it will happen this side of the election, I don't know. It could be the other side of the election.
He is an excellent speaker. People love his entertaining style. I don't know whether he will become leader. You never know in politics. But I don't think that is what he is aiming for. I think he is aiming to support David Cameron and a Conservative government in 2015.