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.

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.

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

George Eaton is political editor of the New Statesman.

Getty
Show Hide image

Police shoot man in parliament

A man carrying what appeared to be a knife was shot by armed police after entering the parliamentary estate. 

From the window of the parliamentary Press Gallery, I have just seen police shoot a man who charged at officers while carrying what appeared to be a knife. A large crowd was seen fleeing from the man before he entered the parliamentary estate.

After several officers evaded him he was swiftly shot by armed police.

Ministers have been evacuated and journalists ordered to remain at their desks. 

More follows. Read Julia Rampen's news story here.

Armed police at the cordon outside Parliament on Wednesday afternoon. Photo: Getty

George Eaton is political editor of the New Statesman.