Friday 02 May 2008

Boris Johnson shows promise in application

If there was any doubt about Boris Johnson being a popular candidate for Mayor of London, his application form for the job will surely allay it.

Scrawled in messy handwriting and bursting with sarcasm and jokes, the MP for Henley's written pitch to be the Tory contender for mayor will not disappoint those who expect irreverence and chaos from the exuberant politician.

The application form, seen by this newspaper, reveals that Mr Johnson entered the race at the last minute, submitting his form on the day of the closing deadline of July 16. It also discloses that Mr Johnson only joined the Conservative party in 2000, a year before becoming an MP.

Mr Johnson was shortlisted by a panel at Tory HQ last weekend along with three other candidates who will compete at an open primary with a ballot on September 26. It is understood that the rival candidates, Andrew Boff, Victoria Borwick and Warwick Lightfoot, submitted more conventional applications.


Under "political experience", Mr Johnson scrawls four lines: "Shadow spokesman for higher education, MP for Henley-on-Thames 2001, formerly shadow minister for the arts, vice chairman of the Conservative Party."

Under "employment", Mr Johnson lists "MP for Henley, Editor of The Spectator, Assistant Editor Daily Telegraph, EEC Correspondent Daily Telegraph."

However, it is when he comes to the section "challenges faced" that Mr Johnson really hits his stride: "1. Trying to help raise 4 children in inner London. Outcome too early to call, but looking promising.

"2. Taking on Blair and Campbell in the battle of Black Rod's Memorandum on the Queen Mother's lying-in-state. Outcome: Total victory.

"3. Negotiating Hyde Park Corner by bicycle. Outcome: survival."

Asked how much time he could give to the role of Conservative mayoral candidate, he replies: "A great deal".

Given previous revelations of an extra-marital affair, it is unclear whether officials were reassured that Mr Johnson left the section marked "personal character" blank.

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