Boris bets all on Euro exit

Lesotho Times - - International -

LON­DON — With one hand in his suit pocket and the other muss­ing his sig­na­ture blond hair, Boris John­son on Sun­day took the riski­est gam­ble of his ca­reer: to op­pose Prime Min­is­ter David Cameron by cam­paign­ing for Bri­tain to leave the Euro­pean Union. If the stars align for Lon­don’s ec­cen­tric mayor and the vot­ers agree with him in a June 23 ref­er­en­dum, his bet could help him win Cameron’s job. But if Bri­tons vote to stay in, he could find that he has blown his chance for good.

A nat­u­ral co­me­dian known to all by his first name, the di­shev­elled Boris has ex­pertly kept the na­tion guess­ing for years as to ex­actly how high he wanted to climb and what he would be pre­pared to do along the way. But on Sun­day, on the sub­ject of the EU at least, there was no more beat­ing around the bush.

“You want to ask my views on Europe, don’t you?” he jok­ingly asked a scrum of re­porters and cam­era­men who had been be­sieg­ing his Lon­don home all week­end, des­per­ate to find out which side he would back af­ter Cameron an­nounced the date of the ref­er­en­dum. Let me tell you where I’ve got to, which is that I’ve made up my mind,” he said, re­veal­ing that he would push for a ‘Brexit’ and at­tack­ing what he de­scribed as EU ju­di­cial ac­tivism and lack of demo­cratic ac­count­abil­ity.

It was his bold­est move yet in a long-run­ning game of political chess within the rul­ing Con­ser­va­tive Party, in­volv­ing not just Boris and Cameron but also Chan­cel­lor Ge­orge Os­borne, the mayor’s main ri­val to suc­ceed the prime min­is­ter.

With Cameron pledg­ing to put his “heart and soul” into the fight to keep Bri­tain in the EU, backed by Os­borne and all other se­ri­ous con­tenders for the top job, Boris ap­pears to have cal­cu­lated that it was worth the huge risk of op­pos­ing them.

“Boris’s de­ci­sion to opt for the Leave cam­paign means one thing - that he thinks this is his best shot at be­com­ing prime min­is­ter,” said So­nia Pur­nell, au­thor of “Just Boris”, an unau­tho­rised bi­og­ra­phy that is crit­i­cal of the mayor. — Reuters

US repub­li­can can­di­date don­ald Trump.

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