Boris Johnson has finally put an end to speculation about his future and confirmed that he’ll stand as an MP next year.
Predictably Labour’s press operation has swung into action, deploying the ‘part-time Mayor’ rhetoric which they briefed the Standard on earlier this year.
Meanwhile David Lammy has been busy tweeting criticism of Boris for quitting City Hall to pursue his personal ambitions.
Labour supporters are on firmer ground when they accuse him of breaking the promise made when he said:
“If I am fortunate enough to win I will need four years to deliver what I have promised. And having put trust at the heart of this election, I would serve out that term in full.
“I made a solemn vow to Londoners to lead them out of recession, bring down crime and deliver the growth, investment and jobs that this city so desperately needs. Keeping that promise cannot be combined with any other political capacity.”
But there’s a real problem with all of of these criticisms – two of the most briefed and hyped would-be Labour Mayoral runners are just as guilty of them as Boris.
David Lammy was elected as a London Assembly member in May 2000 before quitting 2 months later for the safe seat of Tottenham. How was that not pursuing his personal ambitions?
And both Lammy and Sadiq Khan, another much-briefed would-be Mayor, are seeking re-election to Parliament next May after which their supporters tip and wink that they’ll seek the party’s Mayoral nomination.
Will the months they’ll spend campaigning for that role not make them part-time MPs? When will they stand down from Parliament – after they’re selected or only if they’re elected as Mayor in 2016?
And when they go to the voters in their respective constituencies next May with their Mayoral ambitions still clouded in deniable briefings, are they not making a promise to represent the voters of Tottenham and Tooting in Parliament until the 2020 General Election?
Boris has done what many called on him to do and clarified his intentions. Isn’t is about time Labour’s would-be Mayors did the same or change the record?