Having given his speech on Europe and all that, Boris has just admitted to journalists that he will try to find a seat for 2015. Here are three immediate observations:
- Classic Boris #1. This revelation didn’t come in a specially-prepared press conference, nor in an address to party conference, nor in a grand Telegraph column. It came in response to questions from journalists, after a speech that was – on the surface, at least – about something else. Of course, Boris must have known that the question was likely to come up, so his answer would have been thought-through beforehand. But trust the Mayor of London to go about things uniquely.
- Classic Boris #2. It’s worth noting that despite the certainty of his central admission – “I will try to find somewhere to stand in 2015” – there were a few qualifying “in all probability”s and “most likely”s among Boris’s words. He even suggested, rather self-deprecatingly, that he might be “unsuccessful” in finding a seat. It’s almost as though he likes to keep us all guessing.
- It’s like we’ve been saying. Assuming that this isn’t some amazing feint on Boris’s part, it does look as though he has done what Paul Goodman urged him to do yesterday – and made up his mind. Despite the leadership speculation that will ensue, this is good for the Conservatives: it spares us from some of the conjecture about Boris’s intentions, and ensures that one of the party’s strongest pieces is in play at the next General Election. One abiding question, though, is how Londoners will respond to Boris splitting his time, from 2015 to 2016, between Parliament and the Mayoralty.
Update: David Cameron responds:
Great news that Boris plans to stand at next year’s general election – I’ve always said I want my star players on the pitch.
— David Cameron (@David_Cameron) August 6, 2014