Boris: I’ll spend more time in Oxfordshire now I’m London mayoral candidate

by Stephen Tall on July 16, 2007

See if you can follow Boris’s tortuous logic in today’s online Oxford Mail:

Boris Johnson claimed his decision to run for London Mayor could lead to him spending more time in Oxfordshire. The Henley MP, confirming he would seek the Conservative nomination for next year’s mayoral race, insisted he could serve his constituents at the same time as battling it out with Labour’s Ken Livingstone in the capital.

In an attempt to placate local supporters, who had urged him not to turn his back on them, Mr Johnson said he had “freed up” time to dedicate to his constituency. But with signs of a backlash emerging, with one Tory accusing the MP of putting his career ahead of his obligations to his constituents.

Mr Johnson, in an interview with the Oxford Mail, said he was stepping down from the Tory front bench and would be scaling back his lucrative after-dinner speaking engagements.

He said: “I have given up my position as shadow higher education spokesman and I will not be doing any more speeches in Little Wittering. I have freed up some time and I think I’ll be in Henley just as much as before, if not more. I have knocked on the head the other things that were getting into my life.”

However, Boris has yet to convince Pearl Slatter, a South Oxfordshire Tory district councillor:

“I’m terribly disappointed. He’s let us down. We worked very hard to get him elected in a very safe seat. I thought he was different to all the rest, but it seems he’s not, and he’s serving his own career.”