His salary for these various jobs was much higher than his salary as prime minister. They also gave him power and influence that even politicians in power would envy.
During his tenure as Mayor of London, government officials paid close attention to the Daily Telegraph’s weekly column. The column appeared Monday morning and contained often thinly veiled threats if his political priorities were ignored. Frankly, Johnson’s profile and popularity meant that simply offering public criticism or approval could cause real problems for the incumbent government.
But Johnson’s friends and colleagues aren’t convinced that he’s quit front-line politics or that he missed the opportunity to re-enter Downing Street, if there was one.
CNN spoke with several of Johnson’s friends, political allies and colleagues about what they think the outgoing prime minister could be next. All spoke on condition of anonymity due to the uncertainty in British politics at the moment.
Johnson’s closest allies believe he’s furious about how he was forced out of office not by the ballot box, but by the political pressure behind the scandal… instincts. ”
“Many of my colleagues and I believe he could and should have weathered the storm over Partygate and the Chris Pincher scandal,” said Johnson’s longtime political ally. said, referring to illegal parties in Downing Street during the Covid-19 pandemic and despite Johnson’s knowledge of past sexual misconduct allegations, the government deputy Revelation that you appointed a chief.
“The scrutiny is coming from the media, not the general public, and I’m afraid his own MP has succumbed to the pressure.
Whether Johnson can realistically return to his position as prime minister is a matter of another debate. He said that endorsement could be the kiss of death.
But one former campaign manager and friend of Johnson’s thinks Johnson may start to have thoughts about resurrection if things start to go bad over a succession.
“He can rightly say he has never lost to a voter. He has never lost to his party. He won a vote of confidence,” said the friend. . “It may sound strange now, but for him to keep the idea of a comeback open would help his career in media and it would also keep real prospects alive. The two go hand in hand.”
Those who worked with Johnson at Downing Street aren’t convinced Johnson’s promise of loyalty was worth it.
“He promised Spectator that he would not run for Congress. He has a history of doing what’s best for Boris,” said a former Downing Street adviser who has worked with Johnson throughout his political career.
“If the polls start to go down after the new leader comes to power, I’d be surprised if he doesn’t follow through no matter what winds blow him. You can easily hype up lawmakers, enough to make you think again that only Boris can solve the problem and win the next election.”
Missing from this analysis so far is the uncomfortable truth that the public has no say in Johnson’s removal or appointment of a successor. If things start to go bad for the next prime minister, the Conservative Party could sack them and, in theory, return Johnson to the party leadership.
Things could get complicated when Johnson comes into contact with the wider electorate. He leaves with very low approval ratings and a bad reputation. For all Johnson’s political savvy in terms of dealing with Westminster, going to the country is another matter altogether. .
And this question of his popularity can also factor into exactly how lucrative his future media career will be.
“There’s no question that his appeal isn’t all that strong. I’m sure there are competing bids to secure him as a columnist, but during his tenure, he managed to alienate a good chunk of his core audience.” I did,” says the former counselor. to Johnson.
“The lockdown, huge state spending to deal with the pandemic, and irresponsible lockdown parties are under his watch. See how he ran, hear what he thinks of the country’s leader.” None of this appeals to his traditional Conservative audience, who may not be very keen on the subject. England.”
This could mean that Johnson is a member of parliament very close to him and is considering a public office role in politics or diplomacy where he still has a great reputation. , could see him take over NATO.”
There is a final question as to whether Mr Johnson will remain in Congress after his resignation. He could be an influential back-venture, a role he’s enjoyed so far. He could be a nuisance to the new prime minister, as many previous prime ministers have plagued his successors. If a congressional investigation finds that he deliberately misled Congress over Partygate, he could face a recall election and lose his seat. Or he could simply move on to the next election and be effectively a retired MP while receiving a salary for a few years.
Of course, all this is speculation. In contrast to his public image, Johnson is a very private person that even his closest friends find difficult to accurately read.
There is no clear next step for Johnson, but even as he leaves the country’s highest office, his drive and ambitions are clear. So while it’s not exactly clear what one of Britain’s most divisive leaders will do next, one thing that everyone can be sure of is that Boris will be Johnson’s last. It means you haven’t heard the story yet.