In the sixth of eight reflections on Tory Conference week Tim Montgomerie notes the rise and rise of Boris Johnson. The previous entry in this series examined the fact that Conference has "gone corporate".
The week began with the publication of ConHome’s survey of Tory members. The poll found that Boris Johnson enjoyed higher satisfaction ratings than any other Tory in the country – including David Cameron. The rating followed the Mayor’s strong defence of the City from Left-wing attacks.
My guess is that Boris Johnson will have only added to his standing since the survey was completed:
First was his very well received speech to Conference. You can watch a section here.
Second was his announcement that he’d freeze the Mayor’s component of the London council tax. Having looked at the books he found plenty of economies from the Livingstone era. As Cameron-Osborne look to bring discipline to UK-wide finances they now have a credible example of restraint to point to.
Third was yesterday’s resignation of Sir Ian Blair. Boris’ statement on the resignation was statesmanlike but there can be little doubt that the Mayor’s steel (and that of Kit Malthouse) forced the Met Chief out before he would otherwise have gone. The normally reasonable Steve Richards of The Independent has blown a gasket in response. But the greatest advance may be to come. Justin Davenport and Pippa Crerar of the London Evening Standard are reporting that Boris Johnson met Los Angeles police chief Bill Bratton (who oversaw New York’s zero tolerance revolution) at City Hall last Friday. A City Hall source refused to rule out Bratton as a successor to Sir Ian. Getting rid of Sir Ian was a good start. Bill Bratton would be a brilliant leap forward for London.