Boris Johnson: Expert says target is ‘longer than Thatcher’
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In a discussion with talkRADIO’s Mike Graham on the future of Boris Johnson following an emphatic win for the Conservative Party at last week’s local elections, the Independent’s Chief Political commentator John Rentoul reckoned Boris Johnson is aiming to smash Margaret Thatcher’s PM record of 11 years. Mr Rentoul claimed “11 and a half years is the target” for the PM. His comments come as Mike Graham predicted the Labour Party may never be the “party of government”. But Rentoul insisted “politics can change on a sixpence” and nothing is set in stone.
Host Mike Graham said: “Does he have an election in say a years time when everything is settled down, everything is back to normal, everybody has got there freedoms back, they’ve all been on holiday to Spain and say ‘yes this is all great’
He added: “And then he steps aside because I don’t think he is enjoying it actually as a man.”
But John Rentoul insisted: “I don’t think you get to be prime minster unless you desperately, desperately want to be Prime Minister.
Mr Graham hit back saying: “Yes but having got there, he’s done it now and he’s been through Brexit.”
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The Independent political commentator stressed: “No, that’s not how Prime Minister’s work Mike. Once they get there they want to stay there, they want to serve longer than Margaret Thatcher.
“That’s the target now, 11 1/2 years and I’m sure that’s what Boris Johnson wants to do too.”
Graham expanded on the possibility, adding: “And he could at this rate, I don’t see the Labour Party becoming the party of government ever, really!”
But Rentoul disagreed, saying: “The whole lesson of the past few years is that politics can change on a sixpence.”
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But Rentoul remained sceptical of calling off Labour’s chances entirely, saying: “Everything could look completely different in a couple of weeks time, who knows.”
The comments come as Labour faced a drubbing at last weeks local elections in England last week which has led to a backlash against the party’s leadership under Keir Starmer and the future electability of Labour.
During the elections Labour suffered a himilating blow as Hartlepool, a former Labour heartland constituency which voted to leave the EU in 2016, elected a Conservative MP for the first time in its history.
Conservative Jill Mortimer sealed a massive 6,940 majority in the North-East town, overturning a 3,595 Labour Party majority from the 2019 General election.
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Along with losing Hartlepool, Labour also lost control of eight councils and a massive 326 councillors across England while the Tories added 13 councils and 235 councillors to their tally, but Labour managed a big win in London where Labour Mayor Sadiq Khan was re-elected for a second term as Mayor of London with a large majority.
The disastrous results prompted Labour leader Keir Starmer to conduct a shadow cabinet reshuffle which saw campaign manager and chair of the Labour party Angela Rayner binned from her job and made shadow first secretary of state, shadow chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster and shadow secretary of state for the Future of Work.
Shadow Chancellor Anneliese Dodds and Chief Whip Nick Brown also lost their roles during the post-election reshuffle after the devastating election results for Labour.
Former Duchy of Lancaster Rachel Reeves was also appointed to shadow Chancellor, while Mr Brown was replaced as shadow Chief Whip by Alan Campbell, and Thangam Debbonaire was moved to shadow Commons leader.
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