POLITICS EXPLAINED

Could Boris Johnson really come back as London mayor?

A second bid to run the capital feels like a flight of fancy, says Sean O’Grady

Friday 16 June 2023 19:26 BST
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<p>Mayor of London Sadiq Khan looks on as Boris Johnson speaks at the completion of the Elizabeth line in 2022 (Andrew Matthews/PA)</p>

Mayor of London Sadiq Khan looks on as Boris Johnson speaks at the completion of the Elizabeth line in 2022 (Andrew Matthews/PA)

Following his shock resignation as an MP, and the devastating report by the Commons Committee of Privileges, speculation about Boris Johnson’s future has been swirling around Westminster and beyond. One of the more intriguing rumours is that Johnson may make some sort of bid for the London mayoralty, a post he held from 2008 to 2016. But is it any more than a pipe dream for the Boris cultists?

Where are these rumours coming from?

Guto Harri, former press officer for Johnson and rewarded with a CBE in the honours list, has been talking openly about the prospect: “London needs a powerful advocate with the profile, ambition, credibility and character to fight its corner and champion its cause.” However, Will Walden, Mr Johnson’s former communications director under Johnson at London City Hall, has told The Independent: “Boris only runs for things if he knows he can win. Running might well split the Tory vote but running doesn’t equal winning. I expect if there’s even a shred of truth in this then it’s more about limelight-hogging than reality. The last time I looked, Boris was still a Conservative. I’m not sure Tory members in London will look kindly on him running against their chosen candidate.”

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