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We have come to the end of an historic week in British politics.  Coming on top of Smeargate we have had revealed the full extent of Labour's economic failure.  On Wednesday the Budget revealed the extent of Labour borrowing.  Today we've seen the depth of Labour's recession.  I expect Tory leads to be large from now on – perhaps as large as yesterday's YouGov lead of 18%.  There is now a massive expectation of a Conservative victory.  98% of Tory members expect David Cameron to be Prime Minister in ConservativeHome's April survey.

With this expectation will come enormous scrutiny from the media.  The Tories have not faced serious examination yet.  That's going to change.  Much of it will focus on Tory policy but much will inevitably focus on the personalities that will soon be governing Britain.  Two relationships within the Tory family will face most scrutiny; the Cameron-Osborne relationship and the Cameron-Boris relationship.

TwoRelationshipsPicture 1 The scrutiny begins tomorrow.  The Times alleges that Boris Johnson "despises" David Cameron.  In return Mr Cameron is said to think that Mr Johnson is "lacking the necessary moral cut-out or alarm system to be a serious politician."  Strong stuff.

It's true that Boris Johnson was disappointed that his early support for David Cameron was not rewarded with a bigger frontbench job when the latter became Tory leader.  It's true that Mr Cameron was initially sceptical about Boris' credibility as a Mayoral candidate.  Boris then resented George Osborne's (necessary) interventions in his Mayoral campaign.  Beyond that I wouldn't want to speculate.

Whatever the differences of the past it's vital that the three men at the heart of the Tory project – David Cameron, George Osborne and Boris Johnson – work out a way of getting along.  The media are keen for endless TB-GB-type rows.  That mustn't be allowed to happen.  None of the characters have the psychological flaws of Gordon Brown.  Brown's treatment of Tony Blair was extraordinary.

Boris and Cameron both enjoy very high satisfaction ratings among Tory members.  91% of Tory members are satisfied with David Cameron (7% dissatisfied).  92% of Tory members are satisfied with Boris Johnson (6% are dissatisfied).  But Boris should also reflect on another ConHome finding that 43% think he is not a credible candidate for Prime Minister even after he has been London Mayor.  They appear to be happy with his performance at City Hall but are sceptical that he can go right to the top.  He needs to focus on being a successful Mayor.  At that he's made a great start.

Tim Montgomerie

89 comments for: Boris “despises” Cameron says The Times

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