Hit or Miss? Boris Johnson reveals he will stand for Parliament in 2015

After months of 'will he, won't he' speculation, London Mayor and potential future Conservative leader Boris Johnson has declared he will stand as an MP next year.

Boris Johnson: Standing as an MP in 2015
Boris Johnson: Standing as an MP in 2015

Johnson revealed his intentions as part of a speech he made at Bloomberg’s headquarters on Wednesday morning, arguing that Britain should not be afraid to loosen ties with the European Union, while Tory leader David Cameron holidayed in Portugal.

The former MP-turned-Mayor told the audience he had "danced around" the issue "for an awfully long time", adding: "I can't endlessly go on dodging these questions.

"So let me put it this way. I haven't got any particular seat lined up but I do think in all probability I will try to find somewhere to stand in 2015. It may all go wrong but I think the likelihood is I am going to have to give it a crack."

The statement of intent contradicted an earlier pledge by Johnson not to become an MP while Mayor of London – his term finishes in 2016.

How I see it

Peter Digger, MD, MHP Communications

By making his announcement at the height of the silly season, with the PM on holiday and as part of a notably Eurosceptic speech, Johnson ensured front-page billing and acres of news coverage.

Inevitably, some comment has focused on whether or not this was a Machiavellian move on Johnson’s part, making mischief while the PM is away.

The reality is more prosaic, and there is little doubt that the approach was with Cameron’s blessing.

The protracted hokey cokey over whether or not he would seek a seat was beginning to appear unseemly and was damaging to the Boris brand. To that extent the timing may not have been entirely to Boris’ liking. Nonetheless the choreography was flawless.

The post-announcement hagiography has already turned to his leadership ambitions, but many traps lie in wait between now and then.

I remain convinced Boris will never be party leader, and look forward to collecting £50 from an esteemed colleague who was foolish enough to take the bet on Wednesday.

Boris won the media battle. I doubt he will win the career war.

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