Boris Johnson is ‘absolutely increasingly confident’ that David Cameron will win in 2015. This was the Mayor’s attempt at responding to Andy Coulson’s suggestion that he’s desperate for the PM to fail so he can cycle in and save the party, a blond messiah. Attempt is perhaps the wrong word, as it suggests Boris made those remarks off the cuff when the Mayor gives every impression that he scripts each remark with as much care as he puts into his newspaper columns. He told 5 News’ Andy Bell:
‘I’m always grateful to Andy Coulson for his career advice but I’m backing David Cameron who I am absolutely increasingly confident is going to win.’
This is damning praise. It suggests the Mayor is coming from the starting point of assuming that Cameron is doomed to fail, and only now is starting to mull the possibility that he could in fact win. It’s another jellyfish moment from the Mayor.
But he’s not the only one hugging the PM with stings. David Ruffley had this similarly damning assessment of Cameron’s relationship with his party at the weekend, telling Sky News’ Murnaghan programme:
‘The Tory party has been upset by gay marriage and other things but the Tory party will love David Cameron when David Cameron wins and we do have the policies to win the next election.’
It’s not a very reassuring picture. But then not even the party’s big cheeses are simply absolutely confident the party can win. Remember that Grant Shapps said ‘we may or may not win the next election’ in an interview with House Magazine in March, and it’s not a topic any minister is prepared to swagger about when nattering in private. For Boris, Coulson’s comments may not have been surprising about his ambitions, but at least they gave him the opportunity to stick the knife in while beaming.