Analysis: Boris Johnson is a relentless winner with nothing to say

Boris Johnson has won essentially every political battle he has ever fought through a combination of charisma, wit and an ability to adapt to whichever vote he is courting.

As mayor of London he claimed he was the only politician in Britain willing to “stand up and say” the city was pro-immigration.

Now he quotes incorrect immigration numbers and has a Home Office not fit for purpose.

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Prime Minister Boris Johnson speaking during the CBI annual conference, at the Port of Tyne, in South Shields. Picture: PA
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He has never been a details’ man, instead attracting good people to work around him as a vehicle to deliver their own policies, relying on his charm and oratory ability to get the job done.

Yet despite his inarguable and relentless ability to win elections, many Conservatives were wary of him running to be leader, believing the party needed some time in opposition to reset and rediscover itself.

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One even told me they would “press the Boris button” only when desperate, and trust whatever happened after would work out.

But increasingly it is not working out.

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On Monday there was a shambolic and frankly unprofessional speech from the Prime Minister, telling the CBI conference all about Peppa Pig, but very little about the support his Government could offer business.

It even prompted one reporter to ask Mr Johnson: "Is everything OK?".

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The Prime Minister insisted his speech to the CBI conference had "gone over well". His own spokesman told journalists “the Prime Minister is well, he's focused on delivering for the public”.

These are not the assurances of strong and stable leadership, and his authority is not only on the wane, but being directly challenged by his own side.

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Anonymous briefings against him are rising. Even in Downing Street, there are concerns over his work rate and approach.

On Monday night his ungenerous care plans for the elderly and vulnerable were voted through, but with a healthy number of Tory absentations.

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Mr Johnson has a historic majority, but in dragging his party through the mud over the Owen Paterson scandal and then banning his own MPs earning more, a gap between him and his party is brewing.

His speech included 20 seconds of Mr Johnson asking for forgiveness while trying to find his place.

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If he can no longer joke his way out of a crisis, it won’t be long before MPs decide sorry isn’t good enough.



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