I have not asked anyone out on a date for over 35 years. In fact, the last time I did invite anyone out was, like most of my attempts, excruciatingly bad. It involved a bubbly and charismatic blonde who told me to get lost.
Now, as a Conservative MP, I find myself being teased by another bubbly blonde: Boris Johnson.
I can’t understand why he is toying with me. Why won’t he accept my party’s offer of a safe seat? Like a desperate suitor, it has given him plenty of options, from a welcoming spot in Hampshire to a more familiar haunt in Kensington.
I can’t believe it’s work that’s holding him back. That’s the sort of excuse that a chap gives when he’s trying to let a girl down gently. But it doesn’t quite ring true. We all know the Mayor is on a fixed-term contract, so it’s not unreasonable he begins to eye up other options. Surely commitment works both ways and the parliamentary party that he’s flirting with deserves a say in our future together as well
His fudging over our relationship leaves me and other Tory MPs wondering whether we can ever have a genuine partnership with the man. Don’t our opinions count if he wants to move in and live with us in our House?
Mind you, his treat ’em mean and keep ’em keen approach is working – for Boris at least. He’s the talk of the tea room. Will he, won’t he? But, like me, some are starting to feel like fools who are wondering if they’re going to be stood up at the restaurant table. It’s always about him, not ‘us’ and frankly it’s not just this MP who is beginning to get a little hurt, a touch bored and now mildly irritated with it all. True, it’s a great romantic comedy, but we shouldn’t be trying to entertain voters with a political version of Bridget Jones. We’ve got a general election in just over a year.
After all, Boris should remember it’s not as if we don’t have a leader to love already. Dave is solid, reliable and isn’t doing a bad job at all. He has been there during the tough times when we needed him. Perhaps Boris should remember that and stop messing our party around.
The author is a senior Conservative MP writing on condition of anonymity.