Will Boris be an MP after the next General Election? It’s a question that has been asked a thousand times over the last few years. And, if recent comments from the Mayor are anything to go by – well, we’re no nearer to finding out the answer.
Having been accused of ‘dithering’ by backbenchers, it seems Boris has no plans to commit to re-entering Parliament – or remaining as Mayor until 2016. In a recent interview on Pienaar’s Politics on Radio 5 Live, John Pienaar asked the Mayor whether he intended to “keep fudging” the issue about returning to the House of Commons. “Yes,” came the reply.
It’s unlikely that Boris will resign from his job as the Mayor before his term ends in 2016, even if he does decide to return to Parliament. He has already pledged to Londoners that he will complete his term as Mayor and has reportedly been advised by Lynton Crosby, the Tory election chief, that he needs to keep to his word if he is to be taken seriously.
The Guardian says that ‘sources close to the London mayor have reportedly indicated that Johnson may be changing his mind’ about returning to Westminster. What appears increasingly likely is that Boris will become an MP at the next election but stop short of attempting to win a post in the cabinet. He will instead argue that running London is like organising a major government department while also holding a Parliamentary seat. There is a precedent, of course, with Ken Livingstone having held office as the Mayor while an MP.
Charles Walker, vice Chairman of the influential 1922 Committee, urged Boris to make a quick decision. “Boris needs to decide what he is doing, he needs to be decisive,” he told The Observer. “Undoubtedly, he would be a great addition to Parliament, but he needs to get on and decide what he is doing if he is to be taken seriously.”