London mayor admits he'd like to be PM

2013-03-19 19:02
Boris Johnson (Picture: AFP)

Boris Johnson (Picture: AFP)

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London - London's popular Mayor Boris Johnson, tipped as a possible rival to British Prime Minister David Cameron, has admitted he would like to "have a crack" at being prime minister one day.

Known for his blunt but colourful quotes and a boyishly eccentric personality, the 48-year-old Johnson used a rugby analogy to express his ambitions for the top job and then immediately played them down.

"I think it's a very tough job being Prime Minister," he said in a BBC documentary due to be shown on 25 March.

"Obviously, if the ball came loose from the back of a scrum - which it won't - it would be a great, great thing to have a crack at. But it's not going to happen," he added in remarks published ahead of the documentary's release.

Johnson, whose popularity soared alongside last year's London 2012 Olympic Games, has long dodged the question of his longer-term political goals, often deflecting claims that he could be the next prime minister with an absurd quip or two.

Last year, when pressed about the issue, the quick-tongued, bicycle-riding Conservative said he had as much chance of becoming prime minister as being decapitated by a Frisbee.

Although the tousle-haired mayor is genuinely popular among Londoners who often greet him like a rock star at public events, political analysts say it would be a long and difficult journey to the prime minister's residence at Number 10 Downing Street.

Such ambitions remain hampered by the lack of a seat in parliament and a widely held perception that Johnson may be too flamboyant for the top job. He has also always said he would see out his second term as mayor, which ends in 2016.

Cameron, whose leadership is under pressure ahead of a general election due in 2015, has often laughed off suggestions that Johnson could replace him, once describing the mayor as a "blond-haired mop sounding off from time to time".

Their rivalry goes back to their years at Britain's elite Eton College where Johnson was two years ahead of Cameron.

Both politicians also went on to Oxford University.

Speaking about his school years in the documentary, Johnson said he still had faint memories of Cameron as a boy - whom he described as "Cameron Minor".

"I do remember Dave," Johnson said, according to remarks published in the right-leaning Daily Telegraph newspaper.

"Someone said to me once, 'That's Cameron mi' [minor] and there was this tiny chap, I dimly remember."

Read more on:    boris johnson  |  david cameron

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