FirstYear Boris Johnson celebrates his first year as London Mayor today and most Tory members say that they are satisfied with his performance although a very large minority doubt that he is yet a credible Prime Minister in waiting:


He has made a massive impression on the public and Time magazine yesterday announced that he was one of the 100 most influential people in the world.

BestInitiative A ConservativeHome poll of Tory members finds that his role in the ousting of Sir Ian Blair was his most important act since replacing Ken Livingstone.

Freezing council tax, banning alcohol on the Tube, opposing a third runway at Heathrow and opposing an extension of the congestion charge also feature prominently.

In recent days Boris has announced a plan to devolve more power to local government in London.  He has also been in the newspapers for apparently wanting to be Prime Minister after he has finished at City Hall.  Last Saturday he told ConservativeHome that talk of him despising David Cameron was "tripe".  He also said that the London Mayor job was "almost certainly" his last big job in British politics.  Not many Westminster insiders believe him.

After some early difficulties with staff picks he is carving out his own brand of modern Conservatism in London.  He has annoyed traditional Tories by expressing sympathy for an amnesty for illegal immigrants but delighted others with his fierce opposition to higher taxes on London's wealth creators.

Speaking to ConservativeHome he says that his record shows that "you can cut public spending if you really want to."  He said that he was very proud of the team he was building at City Hall and that he was proving that better services could be delivered while freezing Londoners' council tax.

He said that he was most proud of the efforts that he had made in fighting crime.  London was getting safer and safer, he said, and putting more police officers on the beat and into the transport system would remain a top priority.

He issued a "massive Mayoral apology" to me after I told him that my fourth bike had been stolen – just last month.  He promised a rent-a-bike scheme soon that might solve my problem.  The environment would be a "passion" in the remainder of his term, he promised, and he hoped to make substantial progress in sponsoring Electric Cars across the capital.

Being London Mayor had so far been a "fascinating and demanding" experience.  It was the most rewarding thing he had done in his life.  He had very few frustrations although the London bureaucracy was sometimes "treacly".

"I want to stand for a second term" he said but had not taken a final, final decision.  The Tories are currently 12% ahead in London but he will be running for re-election in what is likely to be the mid-term of a Cameron government and the Tories might be unpopular across the country because of painful decisions on the budget deficit.  Boris has made a great start but re-election won't be a cakewalk.

Tim Montgomerie 

> Video library of Boris' time as Mayor