Nearly all the Conservative Party candidates will face each other in Channel 4’s live TV debate later today. Boris Johnson declined his invitation and will instead be represented by an empty podium. The former Foreign Secretary topped the first MPs’ ballot for choosing the next leader with 114 votes and is now looking likely to succeed in his mission.
Paul Goodman, editor at Conservative Home, admitted Mr Johnson “brings storms as well as sunshine”.
But he is adamant his commitment to leave during the EU referendum in 2016 shows he is the best candidate for the tough job of delivering Brexit by the October 31 deadline.
He told Express.co.uk: “Boris Johnson’s essence is that he seems to see himself as an Odyssean figure, not to be bound by the irksome restraints of conventional morality.
“He is best placed of the candidates to win back votes lost to the Brexit Party – an emergency requirement – but one can never be sure what he would do afterwards.
“Perhaps Mr Johnson is not the Prime Minister that the British people deserve.
“But he is the Prime Minister that we need right now.”
Mr Goodman added none of the Tory leadership candidates’ Brexit policies are likely to far better than Theresa May’s thrice-failed deal.
He also blamed Mrs May’s failures as a Prime Minister for the party’s popularity plummeting in recent months.
He said: “It was clear after the second “meaningful vote”, if not before, that MPs wouldn’t let the withdrawal agreement pass.
“The Prime Minister could have resigned at that point – acknowledging that the Commons would not now let Britain leave the EU at the end of March, and that the only honourable course left to her was to quit. Instead, she clung on and the Conservatives’ poll ratings began to fold during the next few days.
“Mrs May’s EU policy has alienated the party’s confidence and supply partner, the DUP.
“None of the new Brexit policies advanced by the Tory leadership candidates are likely to fare any better in the House than May’s did – whether they seek to amend her deal, scrap it and start again, go for No Deal outright or aim for a second referendum.”