Mayor of London Boris Johnson has dropped a massive hint that he might be preparing to play a leading role in the campaign for Britain to leave the EU. Speaking on stage with former Prime Minister of Israel Shimon Peres, Johnson talked about how the “greatest leaders” are people who take huge risks to do what they think is right thing, according to The Guardian.
Johnson didn’t actually say he was talking about his own career, but it’s tempting to infer that he had himself in mind when he said it. Here’s the quote in full:
I think the crucial thing, I’m afraid, is that not only do leaders have to be servants of the people but they also have to disobey them. This is a terrible thing to say, but the greatest leaders are those who have a huge popular mandate, have huge support for whatever cause it happens to be and then betray that cause in the name of what is right and do the right thing, and greatly cheese off their supporters. The greatest leaders are those who take a huge risk of one kind or another for the sake of what they think is actually the right thing to do, and to abandon their supporters. That takes a huge amount of guts.
The timing of the quote makes it hard not speculate that Boris was talking about the risk he could be about to take in backing the Brexit campaign and maybe even a bid to become Prime Minister.
Following an interview on LBC last week when he refused to rule out leading the Brexit campaign, Boris wrote in his Telegraph column this morning that those campaigning against a Brexit will be talking “absolute torrents of drivel.” These constant hints are making people think that Johnson is preparing to lead the Brexit campaign.
It would be a massive risk for Johnson to lead the Brexit campaign, because if it lost, his credibility in a future campaign to the lead the Conservative party would be seriously damaged. It’s widely assumed that the three main challengers for the leadership when David Cameron steps down will be Johnson, Chancellor George Osborne and Home Secretary Theresa May.
However, if Johnson was to lead a Brexit campaign to victory, it would be a huge boost for him in a future leadership campaign. That’s why it’s so interesting when he talks about the “greatest leaders” being people who take “huge risks.”
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