AFTER Theresa May avoiding a Tory-written P45 today by further reassuring members of her intention to stand-down, Boris Johnson has now finally confirmed that he will stand in the inevitable face-off to lead the suicidal Conservative Party.
Speaking at the British Insurers Conference in Manchester the former Foreign Secretary who resigned over the Prime Minister’s hugely unpopular mismanagement of Brexit threw the Party a much needed lifeline.
Asked as part of the question and answer session, Mr Johnson first said that there was no vacancy.
Pushed for an answer on if he would stand in the race to replace Theresa May he replied “of course I’m going for it!”.
Mr Johnson has long been considered the front runner to replace Mrs May, who is facing an insurgency from her own MPs over her handling of Brexit.
Declared hopefuls so far include International Development Secretary Rory Stewart, Chief Secretary to the Treasury Liz Truss, Commons Leader Andrea Leadsom and former Work and Pensions Secretary Esther McVey. Yet, rather than share in Johnson’s staunch hard Brexit stance, these other prospective candidates have all been subject to bitter disapproval by Brexiteers of late for their favoring of May’s deal, or for calling or Brexit-lite.
The positive face of the Vote Leave campaign, cheeky-chappy Johnson set out his pitch to the membership in a speech at the party’s annual conference in October, with some members queuing for hours to get a seat.
He called on the party to return to its traditional values of low tax, strong policing and not to follow the policies of the left-wing Labour Party.
Betting odds indicate he is the leading candidate to replace May and has a 28 percent chance of being the next prime minister.
The announcement has come as a relief to some within the Tory Party, who grow increasingly frustrated with their current unpopular Chief and the embarrassment her Brexit stance has brought upon the once revered party.
Mrs May’s withdrawal agreement with the EU has been rejected three times by the Commons. And she has come under increasing pressure to go after the Conservatives lost more than 1,300 Councillors in recent local elections.
Many Conservative MPs are also unhappy that Mrs May is holding cross-party talks with Labour in an effort to get her withdrawal agreement through the Commons.
A pro-Brexit PM with a clear vision of Brexit could be just what the Conservative Party – now under fierce pressure by the rise in support for Nigel Farage’s Brexit Party – needs to survive.
“There have been rumors and hearsay for what feels like a millennium now” one pro-Brexit Tory MP, who wishes to remain anonymous, told Politicalite. “To have someone with Boris’ profile and reputation finally step-up to the plate is encouraging”.
“We must remember, however, that this is all still conjecture. Mrs. May still obstinately stands by her futile deal; a deal that does nothing to deliver the Brexit mandated by the people in June 2016’s referendum. So for now, although Boris’ announcement is very welcomed by myself and by many within Parliament, it nonetheless remains a mere potential until the Withdrawal Agreement is passed by Parliament or Theresa sees sense and resigns in the interests of the Party she seems so intent on destroying”.