Boris Johnson, the man many expected would be the Prime Minister now appointing the cabinet rather than being appointed, is the new Foreign Secretary. A senior position, one which is usually non-divisive, is perfect for Boris’s leadership ambitions.
The role will allow Boris to sculpt his statesman image over the coming years and develop relationships with fellow MP’s and international leaders. He will also be at the forefront of the Brexit negotiations, which will allow him to increase his favourability.
Mr Johnson was a key figure in the leave campaign, alongside his former friend now foe, Michael Gove. Both were expected to collude together in a Boris Johnson led government but this dream fell apart when Michael Gove decided to run for the leadership, stabbing Boris in the back.
Famously, Boris and Theresa do not enjoy a fantastic relationship. It is a clever political decision on her part to place the country’s most popular politician in her cabinet and it works perfectly for Boris.
Theresa May will be the Prime Minister who has to deal with the fallout of the Brexit decision, and if one assumes she makes a success of it, it will open the door for Boris when she steps down.
Boris would be far too dangerous to leave out of the cabinet, and left to the back benches. A man who received so much backing from his colleagues, before he’d even decided to run, would simply gather support and be a thorn in the side of May’s government.
This all confirms my previous comments on Boris, that he has the Churchilian factor to bounce back from the face of political failure and continually maintain public affection. However, not all countries have responded to the appointment popularly. Both the German and French foreign ministers have frosty relations with the former London mayor, and during the referendum Boris even upset out-going US President Barack Obama.
There was talk that Boris could be placed in another high profile position, of Home Secretary. This in reality would have been a disaster for Boris. There is no doubt that he has the capability to do it, after years as London Mayor dealing with the police, emergency services and intelligence services, he has the experience. However, with the exception of the now Prime Minister, Theresa May, the position is usually a grave yard for politicians and their careers.
Likewise, had he been placed in the new position of Brexit Secretary, there would have been far more focus on him as an individual, and this could have affected our negotiations. Like it or not, Boris is not a politician many in Europe admire. Putting his as Brexit secretary could have placed in jeopardy our delicate exit process.
For now, Theresa May has done a stellar job of balancing the cabinet between Eurosceptic and Remain ministers, which will likely ease the unification of the party after the referendum.
After more years at the height of British politics, Boris will be primed and ready to launch for the Tory leadership and you wouldn’t put it past him to become Prime Minister.