Conservative Party conference: David Cameron says Boris Johnson is welcome back in Commons fold at next election

Prime Minister would give London Mayor a 'warm welcome' if he were to stage a Commons comeback

David Cameron has given the go-ahead to Boris Johnson to return to the Commons at the next general election before he has completed his second and final term as the Mayor of London.

The move would establish Mr Johnson, who won two standing ovations at the Conservative conference, as a leading contender to succeed Mr Cameron as party leader.

The Mayor has remained opaque about his plans, but the Prime Minister disclosed that they had discussed the possibility of Mr Johnson coming back as an MP in May 2015, a year before he leaves City Hall.

Mr Cameron said: “I’ve had this conversation with Boris and my message to him is ‘you’re a brilliant Mayor of London, you've done a great job, you’ve got a lot more to give to public life, and it would be great to have you back in the House of Commons at some stage, contributing to public life’.

“But that’s up to him, but I’ll certainly be giving him a warm welcome.”

Asked if he could return in 2015, Mr Cameron replied: “Absolutely, but that’s a matter for him. It’s his plan.”

Mr Johnson has been connected with a series of safe Conservative parliamentary seats which could provide a platform for his return to Parliament.

However, he has ruled out standing in Croydon South, where the Tory association will next week draw up a shortlist of possible candidates.

The Mayor admitted he was still “fudging” over whether he could return to the Commons in 2015, although he spoke last month of his regret of not being in the chamber in August when MPs debated military action in Syria.

Mr Johnson was mobbed by activists and television crews in Manchester as he made his annual visit to the conference.

Previous barnstorming appearances by the Mayor, with occasional swipes at Coalition policies, have been widely interpreted as laying down a marker for his leadership ambitions.

But today’s address was broadly loyal, apart from an appeal to Chancellor George Osborne to cut stamp duty on property sales, which he warned was “stamping on the fingers” of those who want to get on the housing ladder.

He also proposed tax breaks enabling employers to offer loans to staff to pay for their rental deposits, with the cost off-set against tax.

Mr Johnson invited controversy by backing the complaint of celebrity chef Jamie Oliver that British youths would not work as hard or as long as the Eastern European migrants who staff some of his restaurants.

He said the Government needed to tackle the problems of welfare dependency, educational under-achievement and low self-esteem which hold some young Britons back from fulfilling their “vast and latent” potential.

The Mayor said the problem of lack of motivation to work was being tackled by the efforts of the Work and Pensions Secretary, Iain Duncan Smith, to reform the welfare system and by Education Secretary Michael Gove’s drive to restore “rigour and realism” in schools.

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
News
Sir David Attenborough
people
Life and Style
Young girl and bowl of cereal
food + drink
News
Comic miserablist Larry David in 'Curb Your Enthusiasm'
peopleDirector of new documentary Misery Loves Comedy reveals how he got them to open up
Arts and Entertainment
Henry VIII played by Damien Lewis
tvReview: Scheming queens-in-waiting, tangled lines of succession and men of lowly birth rising to power – sound familiar?
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
ebooks
ebooksA year of political gossip, levity and intrigue from the sharpest pen in Westminster
Sport
football
Arts and Entertainment
'The Archers' has an audience of about five million
radioA growing number of listeners are voicing their discontent; so loudly that even the BBC's director-general seems worried
News
i100
Arts and Entertainment
Ready to open the Baftas, rockers Kasabian are also ‘great film fans’
musicExclusive: Rockers promise an explosive opening to the evening
Life and Style
David Bowie by Duffy
fashion
Arts and Entertainment
Hell, yeah: members of the 369th Infantry arrive back in New York
booksWorld War Z author Max Brooks honours WW1's Harlem Hellfighters in new graphic novel
News
advertisingVideo: The company that brought you the 'Bud' 'Weis' 'Er' frogs and 'Wasssssup' ads, has something up its sleeve for Sunday's big match
Arts and Entertainment
tv
News
i100
Environment
Dame Vivienne Westwood speaking at a fracking protest outside Parliament on Monday (AP)
environment
Life and Style
tech
2015 General Election
May2015

Poll of Polls

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

Tradewind Recruitment: English Teacher

Negotiable: Tradewind Recruitment: This post arises as a result of the need to...

Tradewind Recruitment: Class Teacher Required ASAP In Uminster

£120 - £150 per annum: Tradewind Recruitment: I am recruiting on instruction o...

Ashdown Group: Head of Finance - Financial Director - London - £70,000

£70000 per annum: Ashdown Group: Head of Finance - Financial Controller - Fina...

Ashdown Group: Marketing Executive - Wimbledon, SW London

£24000 - £28000 per annum + benefits: Ashdown Group: Marketing Executive - Wim...

Day In a Page

Isis hostage crisis: Militant group stands strong as its numerous enemies fail to find a common plan to defeat it

Isis stands strong as its numerous enemies fail to find a common plan to defeat it

The jihadis are being squeezed militarily and economically, but there is no sign of an implosion, says Patrick Cockburn
Virtual reality thrusts viewers into the frontline of global events - and puts film-goers at the heart of the action

Virtual reality: Seeing is believing

Virtual reality thrusts viewers into the frontline of global events - and puts film-goers at the heart of the action
Homeless Veterans appeal: MP says Coalition ‘not doing enough’

Homeless Veterans appeal

MP says Coalition ‘not doing enough’ to help
Larry David, Steve Coogan and other comedians share stories of depression in new documentary

Comedians share stories of depression

The director of the new documentary, Kevin Pollak, tells Jessica Barrett how he got them to talk
Has The Archers lost the plot with it's spicy storylines?

Has The Archers lost the plot?

A growing number of listeners are voicing their discontent over the rural soap's spicy storylines; so loudly that even the BBC's director-general seems worried, says Simon Kelner
English Heritage adds 14 post-war office buildings to its protected lists

14 office buildings added to protected lists

Christopher Beanland explores the underrated appeal of these palaces of pen-pushing
Human skull discovery in Israel proves humans lived side-by-side with Neanderthals

Human skull discovery in Israel proves humans lived side-by-side with Neanderthals

Scientists unearthed the cranial fragments from Manot Cave in West Galilee
World War Z author Max Brooks honours WW1's Harlem Hellfighters in new graphic novel

Max Brooks honours Harlem Hellfighters

The author talks about race, legacy and his Will Smith film option to Tim Walker
Why the league system no longer measures up

League system no longer measures up

Jon Coles, former head of standards at the Department of Education, used to be in charge of school performance rankings. He explains how he would reform the system
Valentine's Day cards: 5 best online card shops

Don't leave it to the petrol station: The best online card shops for Valentine's Day

Can't find a card you like on the high street? Try one of these sites for individual, personalised options, whatever your taste
Diego Costa: Devil in blue who upsets defences is a reminder of what Liverpool have lost

Devil in blue Costa is a reminder of what Liverpool have lost

The Reds are desperately missing Luis Suarez, says Ian Herbert
Ashley Giles: 'I'll watch England – but not as a fan'

Ashley Giles: 'I'll watch England – but not as a fan'

Former one-day coach says he will ‘observe’ their World Cup games – but ‘won’t be jumping up and down’
Greece elections: In times like these, the EU has far more dangerous adversaries than Syriza

Greece elections

In times like these, the EU has far more dangerous adversaries than Syriza, says Patrick Cockburn
Holocaust Memorial Day: Nazi victims remembered as spectre of prejudice reappears

Holocaust Memorial Day

Nazi victims remembered as spectre of prejudice reappears over Europe
Fortitude and the Arctic attraction: Our fascination with the last great wilderness

Magnetic north

The Arctic has always exerted a pull, from Greek myth to new thriller Fortitude. Gerard Gilbert considers what's behind our fascination with the last great wilderness