Boris Johnson said ‘being PM is too much like hard work’, compared the job to ‘pulling a jumbo jet down a runway every day’ and he ‘can’t wait to have fun and make money’
Boris Johnson could step down as Prime Minister in four years, it was claimed yesterday – and he says running the country is ‘like pulling a jumbo jet down the runway every day’.
Mr Johnson’s former chief adviser said he does not want to ‘go on and on’ in power, quoting the phrase used by Margaret Thatcher who served 11 years in No 10.
Mr Cummings said: ‘Unlike other PMs, this one has a clear plan to leave at the latest a couple of years after the next election – he wants to make money and have fun, not “go on and on”.’
If Mr Cummings is right, it means Mr Johnson could resign as soon as 2025. The next election must take place by December 2024, five years after his landslide victory in 2019.
But some Tory MPs believe it could be held as early as 2023 to enable the party to cash in on the Covid vaccine success and before inevitable tax rises.
The suggestion that Mr Johnson has already planned his Downing Street exit was made by Dominic Cummings in his latest blog
The Daily Mail can reveal further details of Mr Johnson’s own colourful thoughts on being Prime Minister – and his post-No 10 plans.
According to a reliable source, he said: ‘This job is too much like hard work. It’s like pulling a giant 747 down the runway with a harness on your back. Every morning you get up and have to start pulling.
‘I do not want to go on and on like Thatcher and Blair. I want to get through this Parliament, win again and then head off soon afterwards.
‘I can’t wait till I can go back to writing, have fun and make money.’
Another source said Mr Johnson is ‘fiercely protective’ of his reputation as a writer and would reject speeches prepared for him by aides if he believed they were sub-standard.
‘His first love is writing, not politics,’ said the source. ‘He would say, “My future income depends on my writing and I cannot have it diluted by any old rubbish”. He would insist on rewriting it in his own inimitable style to protect his “brand”.’
Weeks after winning the 2019 election Mr Johnson took time off to work on a book about Shakespeare.
Mr Johnson’s former chief adviser said he does not want to ‘go on and on’ in power, quoting the phrase used by Margaret Thatcher who served 11 years in Number 10
Mrs Thatcher’s vow to ‘go on and on’ was made in 1987 when she had been prime minister for eight years. Just over three years later she left No 10 in tears, brought down by Tory MPs.
Tony Blair was prime minister for ten years and resigned in 2007 after constant sniping from his Labour successor Gordon Brown.
To beat his Tory rival David Cameron, who was forced to step down after six years and two months as prime minister, Mr Johnson needs to remain in power until October 2025. By that time he will be 61 years old.
Conservative MPs were sceptical about the claim by Mr Cummings, who was forced to resign as Mr Johnson’s senior adviser last year after losing a Downing Street power struggle, that the Prime Minister could leave office in four years.
‘Boris could easily win another landslide and if he does, wild horses won’t drag him out of No 10,’ said one.
Mr Johnson has pledged to scrap the Fixed-Term Parliaments Act to restore the customary right of prime ministers to call an election at a time of their own choosing.
The Prime Minister’s Press secretary refuted the suggestion that he was planning on standing down. ‘The PM has actually been asked this before and has said himself it’s utter nonsense, so that still stands,’ she said.
No 10 said the claims that Mr Johnson had compared being Prime Minister to ‘pulling a jumbo jet’ and was ‘too much like hard work’, and aimed to leave office in four years to ‘make money and have fun’, were untrue.