Since the news first broke that Crispin Blunt is being made to reapply for his seat by the Reigate Association Executive, there has understandably been plenty of speculation as to the cause of the row.
One theory floated in various quarters – including by the Telegraph – is the idea Boris has somehow stirred the Reigate pot in the hope of a return to Parliament.
“Sources close to” the Mayor’s office have dismissed the claim over the last week, but it’s a measure of how much the allegation is bugging him that Boris himself has now chosen to speak out about it.
He tells ConservativeHome exclusively that:
“Crispin Blunt is an old friend and a great local MP. I wanted to state publicly that anything connecting me to the Reigate constituency – or any other – is a load of codswallop.”
The Reigate association executive are yet to tell their side of the story, and there may well be more to emerge about their disagreement with Blunt. In the meantime, it’s not hard to see why Boris feels claims of destabilising a sitting MP are too damaging to allow to go unrebutted.