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Boris refuses to rule out fighting by-election over Heathrow

5 September 2012

As James remarked earlier, the Cameron vs Boris subtext of the row over expanding Heathrow is going to run and run. Boris managed to fulfil that prediction almost immediately by announcing on the World at One that he will lead a campaign against a third runway. ‘You bet, you bet I will, yes,’ he said.

As well as using a new Borisism, ‘fudgerama’, to describe the way the Prime Minister was handling the issue, Boris did not rule out the possibility that he might resign to trigger a by-election if the government U-turned. Shaun Ley asked:

‘If the opportunity arose, would you be prepared to fight a parliamentary by-election on that?’

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Boris replied, rather hesitantly:

‘My job is to follow the interests of the people of London. I was elected on a very clear mandate to oppose the third runway at Heathrow, expansion of Heathrow, that indeed is the mandate on which this government was elected, and that’s what I’d like to see and do.’

While Boris would relish fighting a campaign against Cameron, it might be even better for him if the government did plump for a third runway. At least it would give Boris the opportunity to leave his post as Mayor on a point of principle and make his move towards Parliament before 2015. Perhaps Heathrow could be the making of him.

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  • John_Page
  • John_Page
  • Coffeehousewall

    Politicians only do what is in their own interests. Boris should not be presented as the saviour of conservatism, he is no more conservative than David Cameron. He is a slightly better and more interesting self-publicist. Conservatism is dead. What is required is something else.

    If he stands for MP it will have nothing at all to do with the interests of the people of London.

    • Douglas Carter

      I’d agree, and I’m not a cheerleader for Boris or for the Conservatives. But to be fair, there is a world of difference between him and Cameron.
      Cameron’s series of nebulously-couched litany of waffle that is supposed to resemble an opinion is diametrically challenged by Johnson’s fairly generous lexicon of resolute opinion. I’m going to leave aside whether he’s a buffoon or a vain carpetbagger – he’s left behind him a visible trail of attributable and forthright essays. He may be able to back-pedal partially on two or three, but not the whole programme.
      Would I jump on the Boris bandwagon armed with what I believe I know at present? No. Certainly not. But in comparison, I think a Boris manifesto stands a greater chance of clarity prior to an election, and that the resultant policy programme growing from such a manifesto subsequent to a general election will be more likely to resemble the product offered to the electorate.
      I remain a sceptical observer, but an observer nonetheless.

    • Macky Dee

      Conservatism is not dead… It’s just too many in the Cons are afraid of being Conservative.

      • Coffeehousewall

        Conservatism, as a political movement associated with the Conservative Party is certainly dead. Something new is required which is a real vehicle for real politics.

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