Let’s face it: Ed Miliband needs all the help he can get. Despite PR stunts such as heading down to the Somerset Levels to help the flood efforts – Radio 4’s News Quiz claimed ‘he looked like a surveyor stuck in a swimming pool’ – he hardly looks nailed on to become the country’s next Prime Minister.
But, it seems as if Ed could be aided by two of his biggest enemies – if you believe the claims of a leading Cabinet minister. An anonymous minister [That hardly rules anyone out, does it? Honk! – Boriswatch Ed] has told Boris Johnson and George Osborne to “get back in their box” and stop jostling for position to succeed David Cameron as leader of the Conservative Party.
The Cabinet minister told the Daily Telegraph : “The people doing this [speculating on the next Tory leader] need to get back in their box. “Whether you’re Cameron’s number one fan or number one hater, the only way any of these people can become leader is if Ed Miliband is Prime Minister. We should all be working to stop that, and this sort of thing is silly and unhelpful.”
In a complicated series of ifs, buts and maybes, defeat at the 2015 General Election could result in a Conservative leadership battle. While two years ago George Osborne didn’t stand much of a chance of leading the party he is now one of the favourites to succeed Cameron. However, his biggest rival is likely to be the Mayor of London – although it could be tricky if Boris doesn’t have a Parliamentary seat.
It was recently reported that Osborne had personally urged Boris to stand for Parliament in next year’s election so that the Mayor is fully tied to the result and cannot claim to be the “change” candidate for the leadership if the Tories lose.
Some of Mr Johnson’s allies hit back, claiming supporters of Mr Osborne and Mr Cameron were deliberately attempting to “destabilise Boris” by making sure he “gets as much flak as they do” if the Tories lose next year.
Will either Boris or George succeed David Cameron? And should the Mayor stand as an MP at the next election? Let us know below.