No stampede to support Boris Johnson

BEFORE we get on to the European election results later tonight, a quick recap on the CNJ story published on Friday about who local Tories want to replace Theresa May as their leader – and prime minister.

While Boris Johnson is the clear bookies’ favourite, a fair few of the Camden Conservatives are either wary, lukewarm or, in the most adverse cases, alarmed by the prospect of the former mayor of London taking over.

The group leader Oliver Cooper said he is likely to support Dominic Raab or Sajid Javid. The latter is also the potential preferred option for council group deputy Tory leader Gio Spinella. Henry Newman has promised to say who he supports but not just yet. Maybe we’ll have to tune in to Sky News, where we can only assume he has been welded to a studio seat, to learn more.

It has been left to Will Blair, the former association chair in Holborn and St Pancras, to make the case for Mr Johnson, who he says is the only candidate who can “save our country from the very real threat of a dangerous, Marxist government.”

And of course there is Hamish Hunter, who perhaps has a more scrutinising eye on what goes on in Camden Conservative circles than any voter or journalist; the former council candidate remains in a legal battle over how his name was removed from the Town Hall elections last year.

“The anti-Boris feeling is bizarre,” he tweets. “Also worth remembering most in this Association fell over themselves to support Theresa May in 2016. They probably should reflect on that.”

On the day, Mrs May announced she was running to succeed David Cameron, she made her first stop at a party fund-raiser in Hampstead, where members queued up to have photos taken with her. She loved to tell the story of how she had been once turned down to stand against Frank Dobson by the Holborn and St Pancras constituency because selectors were unsure about the gold bangles and leather skirt, which was considered a little racy for the occasion.

In recent weeks, one or two local Tories have reflected on how relaxed and engaging she was that night in Hampstead, and how they felt the energy ebbed out of her as her time in Downing Street went on.

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