Permission to obfuscate – 10 times Boris Johnson said he will not be PM
The Foreign Secretary is consistently linked to the top job.
Boris Johnson has described a newspaper report that he is set to launch a bid to be prime minister as “tripe”.
Here are 10 other occasions he has shied away from the possibility – often in trademark flamboyant style – over his political career:
“I must tell you, my friends, you who have waited faithfully for the punchline of this speech, that having consulted colleagues, and in view of the circumstances in Parliament, I have concluded that person cannot be me.”
Mr Johnson pulls out of the Tory leadership race (June 2016)
“Of course he can, and I think he must.”
Mr Johnson rejects that a Leave vote in the Brexit referendum would clear the way for him to succeed David Cameron as Prime Minister (May 2016).
“It did not sound very simple to me. It seemed to involve a lot of completely outrageous hypotheses and conjectures.”
Responding in City Hall when asked if he would succeed Mr Cameron, should he have lost the Scottish independence referendum (September 2014)
“I would like to be the lead singer of a international rock group, that was my aim. Or the guitarist. I would have loved to have been a world famous painter, or a composer. There are many, many things that I would like to have done or be able to do. I think it’s a very tough job being a prime minister.
“If the ball came loose from the back of the scrum, which it won’t of course, it would be a great, great thing to have a crack at, but it’s not going to happen.”
During an interview for the documentary Boris Johnson: The Irresistible Rise (April 2013)
“Permission to obfuscate … it’s not going to happen. I want David Cameron to win the next election and I want to do anything I can to make it happen.”
Mail on Sunday tripe - I am backing Theresa may. Let's get on with the job— Boris Johnson (@BorisJohnson) June 10, 2017
During an interview with Eddie Mair on the BBC (March 2013)
“How could anybody elect a prat who gets stuck in a zip wire?”
Mr Johnson refers to the infamous incident when he was left stranded on a zip wire, complete with a pair of Union Jack flags in hand (August 2012)
“As I never tire of saying, my chances of becoming prime minister are only slightly better than being decapitated by a frisbee, blinded by a champagne cork, locked in a fridge or being reincarnated as an olive.”
Then London mayor, Mr Johnson told an audience at the Hay Festival that he had too much work to do at City hall (June 2012).
“I don’t think I will do another big job in politics after this.”
On BBC’s Newsnight, after saying in the same interview that there was “not a snowball’s chance in Hades” that he would run for election as an MP while mayor (October 2011)
“My chances of being PM are about as good as my chances of finding Elvis on Mars, or my being reincarnated as an olive.”
Mr Johnson, then shadow arts minister, in answer to the Independent newspaper’s readers’ questions (June 2004)
“I have as much chance of being prime minister as of being decapitated by a Frisbee or of finding Elvis.”
Then MP for Henley Mr Johnson responding to questioning by school pupils in his constituency (July 2003)