Speaking at a press conference to set out the legacy plans for the Olympic site in Stratford, Johnson said: ‘I hope they will build on the amazing spirit of these Games to encourage participation in schools in London and across the country… I would like frankly to see the regime I used to enjoy, a compulsory two hours of sport every day – that's made me who I am.’
Johnson, who attended the elite public school Eton, appeared to contradict Cameron, who has defended the scrapping of the more modest target of two hours of compulsory PE lessons a week by the Education Secretary, Michael Gove.
Fleishman-Hillard head of public affairs and corporate comms Nick Williams said Johnson’s statement was a clear suggestion that he was preparing to tap into the success of the Olympics, something for which David Cameron is ‘unprepared’.
‘As the Olympic Games shortly come to a close, the starting gun on the political games has just been fired.
Given the Games’ great success and the excitement generated around the country, each political leader will now be seeking to maximise the opportunity. Tapping into popular sentiment could be a crucial game changer over the next few months.
‘It seems that the Government may have been focusing on delivering the Olympics itself while ignoring the political opportunity following the Games. Cameron’s team will now need to focus on ensuring the success of Team GB rubs off on Team DC.’
Williams added that Johnson’s move had caught the Government ‘seemingly unprepared for the political sport challenge ahead’.
Maitland Political executive chairman Kevin Bell dubbed it a ‘typical Boris comment’.
‘He’s saying what lots of people are thinking. He likes to lead from the front and is not afraid to speak his mind. It’s what people like in politicians-leadership.’
Peter Bingle Associates founder Peter Bingle added: ’Only Boris would have the balls to argue that what works at Eton should be applied to every state school. But why not? At the moment Boris has the momentum to say what he thinks and then watch ministers and shadow ministers run for cover.’