It is a pleasure and a privilege to congratulate Boris on his victory - as his successor at the Spectator, his friend and (above all) a Londoner. Be in no doubt: this is a sensational achievement. Ken Livingstone has dominated London politics for a quarter century and presided over a coalition of formidable strength. In 2000, he ran rings around the New Labour machine at its mightiest. To dislodge him is a historic act of giant-killing and a remarkable moment in the capital's political history.
Labour will insist that this is a London story with no national consequence. The opposite, of course, is the case: for the first time since the general election of 1992, the Tory Party has won a major contest. The victorious candidate has captured the imagination of the whole country. His election dramatises and personifies the Conservative revival more vividly than any policy announcement or mini-manifesto could ever do. Tomorrow morning the whole country will be talking about the Boris Effect and wondering what comes next.
So: well done, my friend. You deserved this victory for which you fought and fought and fought against a veteran opponent. The torch has indeed been passed. All the best from your friends at the Spec: enjoy tonight, and then - to work!