Boris Johnson ‘denies claims of Conservative Party bust-up’

London mayor reportedly subject to campaign from party leadership who want to see him ‘get as much flak as they do’

Boris Johnson’s allies have denied claims of a bust-up with the Conservative Party leadership after reports emerged claiming he had been the victim of a campaign by Chancellor George Osborne to “destabilise” his ongoing popularity.

Suggestions of a rift between the London mayor and the “Osborne and [David] Cameron” camp began spreading yesterday after a report in The Times said the Chancellor had personally urged Mr Johnson to fight for the party in the 2015 general election.

Speaking to the Mail on Sunday, one supporter of the mayor called it a deliberate attempt to tarnish his reputation and thwart any future plans to run for Prime Minister as an alternative to the current Conservative leadership.

“This is nothing to do with party loyalty and everything to do with Osborne and Cameron trying to destabilise Boris,” the source said.

“He saw it coming a mile off. They want to make sure that if the Tories lose, Boris gets as much flak as they do and can't stand as leader as a 'break with the failed Cameron-Osborne regime'.”

Last night a friend of the mayor insisted any conversations he had with Mr Cameron and Mr Osborne were to do with the 2015 campaign rather than his own role in the party.

“Boris' focus is on London - it was in 2012, when he stood for a second term, it will be in 2016 when he finishes that term,” he said.

“In between only two things matter to Boris - delivering for London, and ensuring we have a majority Conservative government led by David Cameron after 2015. Boris will be out and about doing all he can to make sure that happens.”

Speaking today on BBC 1’s Andrew Marr Show, the Conservative Party chairman Grant Shapps also denied the existence of a feud, saying that Mr Johnson is “a fantastic London mayor and he's got a lot to offer”.

“What Boris does is up to Boris,” Mr Shapps said. “He's doing a brilliant job in London, his term runs to 2016, so he's got a little way to go.”

Mr Shapps said it would be “crazy” for the Mayor not to be involved in the general election campaign because he is “a guy who is able to communicate incredibly well”.

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
ebooksAn unforgettable anthology of contemporary reportage
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Parts Advisor

£16500 - £18500 per annum: Recruitment Genius: One of the leading Mercedes-Ben...

Recruitment Genius: Software Developer

£27500 - £35000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is an exciting opportunity...

Recruitment Genius: Telemarketers / Sales - Home Based - OTE £23,500

£19500 - £23500 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Experienced B2B Telemarketer wa...

Recruitment Genius: Showroom Assistant

Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: This global company are looking for two Showro...

Day In a Page

Fifa corruption: The 161-page dossier that exposes the organisation's dark heart

The 161-page dossier that exposes Fifa's dark heart

How did a group of corrupt officials turn football’s governing body into what was, in essence, a criminal enterprise? Chris Green and David Connett reveal all
Mediterranean migrant crisis: 'If Europe thinks bombing boats will stop smuggling, it will not. We will defend ourselves,' says Tripoli PM

Exclusive interview with Tripoli PM Khalifa al-Ghweil

'If Europe thinks bombing boats will stop smuggling, it will not. We will defend ourselves'
Raymond Chandler's Los Angeles: How the author foretold the Californian water crisis

Raymond Chandler's Los Angeles

How the author foretold the Californian water crisis
Chinese artist who posted funny image of President Xi Jinping facing five years in prison as authorities crackdown on dissent in the arts

Art attack

Chinese artist who posted funny image of President Xi Jinping facing five years in prison
Marc Jacobs is putting Cher in the limelight as the face of his latest campaign

Cher is the new face of Marc Jacobs

Alexander Fury explains why designers are turning to august stars to front their lines
Parents of six-year-old who beat leukaemia plan to climb Ben Nevis for cancer charity

'I'm climbing Ben Nevis for my daughter'

Karen Attwood's young daughter Yasmin beat cancer. Now her family is about to take on a new challenge - scaling Ben Nevis to help other children
10 best wedding gift ideas

It's that time of year again... 10 best wedding gift ideas

Forget that fancy toaster, we've gone off-list to find memorable gifts that will last a lifetime
Paul Scholes column: With the Premier League over for another year, here are my end of season awards

Paul Scholes column

With the Premier League over for another year, here are my end of season awards
Heysel disaster 30th anniversary: Liverpool have seen too much tragedy to forget fateful day in Belgium

Liverpool have seen too much tragedy to forget Heysel

Thirty years ago, 39 fans waiting to watch a European Cup final died as a result of a fatal cocktail of circumstances. Ian Herbert looks at how a club dealt with this tragedy
Amir Khan vs Chris Algieri: Khan’s audition for Floyd Mayweather may turn into a no-win situation, says Frank Warren

Khan’s audition for Mayweather may turn into a no-win situation

The Bolton fighter could be damned if he dazzles and damned if he doesn’t against Algieri, the man last seen being decked six times by Pacquiao, says Frank Warren
Blundering Tony Blair quits as Middle East peace envoy – only Israel will miss him

Blundering Blair quits as Middle East peace envoy – only Israel will miss him

For Arabs – and for Britons who lost their loved ones in his shambolic war in Iraq – his appointment was an insult, says Robert Fisk
Fifa corruption arrests: All hail the Feds for riding to football's rescue

Fifa corruption arrests

All hail the Feds for riding to football's rescue, says Ian Herbert
Isis in Syria: The Kurdish enclave still resisting the tyranny of President Assad and militant fighters

The Kurdish enclave still resisting the tyranny of Assad and Isis

In Syrian Kurdish cantons along the Turkish border, the progressive aims of the 2011 uprising are being enacted despite the war. Patrick Cockburn returns to Amuda
How I survived Cambodia's Killing Fields: Acclaimed surgeon SreyRam Kuy celebrates her mother's determination to escape the US

How I survived Cambodia's Killing Fields

Acclaimed surgeon SreyRam Kuy celebrates her mother's determination to escape to the US
Stephen Mangan interview: From posh buffoon to pregnant dad, the actor has quite a range

How Stephen Mangan got his range

Posh buffoon, hapless writer, pregnant dad - Mangan is certainly a versatile actor