Hit or miss? PM admits admiration for London Mayor and potential rival Boris

Prime Minister David Cameron used an interview in The Sunday Times to turn his well-documented rivalry with fellow old Etonian Boris Johnson into something of a bromance.

Feeling the love: David Cameron and Boris Johnson
Feeling the love: David Cameron and Boris Johnson

Insisting that he loves the London Mayor. Boris, he said, ‘can do anything he wants to do in politics’, adding that he would ‘never want to put a limit on what Boris can achieve’ and that he is ‘one of the greatest assets the Conservative Party has’.

How I see it

Chris Rumfitt, MD, public affairs, Edelman

Whether the question is about charisma, leadership or strength, Boris outpolls the PM on every metric and David Cameron has rightly judged he benefits from the association with the most popular and electorally successful beast in the Tory jungle. The risk Boris might be a post-election threat to his leadership is far less than the risk Cameron won’t even win that election.

Boris is also seen as a winner by the Tory backbenchers. Cameron’s olive branch to the London Mayor should be seen as part of the wider efforts (including the appointment of Jo Johnson to the No 10 policy unit) to build bridges with Conservative MPs who often see the PM as a remote and diffident figure.

Although bigging up Boris is not without risk, I think the call is the right one. Keep your friends close, and your enemies even closer.

Was Cameron's praise for Boris a hit or miss? Tell us why, below.

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