The New Statesman’s rolling politics blog

RSS

Cameron clears the way for Boris to return as an MP

The PM reveals for the first time that he has discussed the possibility of the Mayor returning to the Commons in 2015 and says that he "absolutely" could do so.

David Cameron chats with Boris Johnson at Battersea Power Station in London on July 4, 2013. Photograph: Getty Images.

It's Boris Day at the Conservative conference and after the Mayor spent the weekend stoking speculation that he plans to return to the Commons in 2015, David Cameron was inevitably asked abut the blonde one on the Today programme this morning.

For the first time, he revealed that he had spoken to Boris about the possibility of him standing as an MP and said that he "absolutely" could do so. He added that the Mayor was a "massive asset to the county and the Conservative Party" but that "this is all dependent on what Boris wants to do." Lest there be any confusion, however, he ended: "we're quite well-aligned if I can put it that way". With this intervention, Cameron has cleverly sought to take control of the story to avoid speculation that Boris could return being used to undermine his position.

As for Boris, he did his bit to fuel the rumours on last night's Newsnight responding to the question "Can you be MP and Mayor of London at the same time?" by musing: "I think John Wilkes was..."

But the Mayor needn't have looked that far back for a precedent. As he will know, after the 2000 mayoral election, Ken Livingstone remained the MP for Brent East until 2001. There is no constitutional obstacle to Boris similarly combining the two roles. And judging by his and Cameron's language, he is ever more likely to do so.

Next Article