Boris Johnson dismisses PM ambitions

 

Boris Johnson has dismissed talk of him becoming the next prime minister as he joked: “How could anybody elect a prat who gets stuck in a zip wire?”

London mayor Mr Johnson was repeatedly asked in an interview on ITV Daybreak if he would like to be the next prime minister but dismissed speculation as a "silly season" story.

The mayor was shown footage of him stuck last week on a 150ft high, 1,000ft long zip wire at the London Live event in Victoria Park, east London, when he was left hanging over a crowd of people for several minutes as the wire lost momentum.

"There you have got it, how on earth could you elect that guy? How could anybody elect a prat who gets stuck in a zip wire?" Mr Johnson joked.

"I tell you what happened, I was trying to publicise our live site in Victoria Park, which is a wonderful place, by the way."

He added that the experience had been "slightly scarier" than it appeared, joking that his actions had been "heroic."

"After I got stuck on that thing, we did have a big increase in the number of visitors, so it wasn't totally fatuous, contrary to appearances," he said.

Asked by Daybreak presenter Kate Garraway if he fancied being prime minister, he responded: "No, of course not, because I have got four years of mayor of London ahead ... perhaps this is the moment to knock this once and for all on the head?"

"I am mayor of London and my cup runs over, and plus ... we have got the Paralympics and they are going to be fantastic too."

In his interview, Mr Johnson insisted that the long-term economic benefit of the Olympics to London was "massive".

"Around the world people are looking at pictures of London. They are seeing a happy city, a city of fantastic places to visit and they are going to want to invest in this city," he said.

"The long-term economic benefit is massive."

He added that one of the most moving aspects of the Olympics had been the number of people who volunteered to help.

He said: "They are doing stuff in their own free time. Wouldn't it be a wonderful thing if we could mobilise them, and people who want to join them, through Team London to help with sport in schools?

"It is often not the shortage of facilities, the problem is a shortage of people who have got the CRB checks and all that stuff who are willing to come and help out."

PA

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