James Forsyth

The Boris approach

The Boris approach
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It is sometimes easy to forget that Boris is more than just a personality, that he has policy views too. In interviews with The Mail and The Times this morning, Boris sets out his own philosophy. It is, as you would expect from someone who voted for Ken Clarke in the 2001 leadership contest, a broadly one nation platform.

Johnson argues that the Tories should not ‘simply shrug their shoulders’ about inequality and backs Iain Duncan Smith’s plan to extend the right to buy to housing association properties. He also talks about immigration far more positively than Cameron does, saying that ‘Politicians need to point out that immigration is a positive symbol of something happening in the economy’. But, in a sign of Boris’s ability to avoid being boxed in by faction, he also backs spending the Nato minimum of 2% on defence—something that will please defence hawks on the right of the party.

In this campaign, Boris will play the part of the loyal soldier and the Tories will undoubtedly benefit from having the two most recognised politicians in the country campaigning for them. But there’s also no question that from the moment Boris returns to parliament, he’ll be endlessly discussed, and touted, as a potential Tory leader. The policy positions he’s outlining now give us a peak at what a Boris-led Tory party would be like.