As expected, Boris Johnson will run for the seat of Uxbridge and South Ruislip in next year’s general election as he seeks a return to Parliament. Whilst he will continue to serve as Mayor of London until May 2016, Johnson is thought to have ambitions on the leadership of the Conservative Party if David Cameron fails to secure re-election as Prime Minister next year.
Johnson, an enigmatic and unpredictable character, would join a long list of ‘interesting’ Uxbridge MPs were he to be elected. Current incumbent John Randall is perhaps an exception, staying out of the limelight in most matters despite a public declaration of opposition to the invasion of Iraq in 2003.
Other past sitters include:
Michael Shersby – noted for having introduced 8 Private Members’ Bills which have made it to law.
John Ryan – a Labour politician noted for his outspoken opposition to the Vietnam War.
Frank Beswick – a Spanish Civil War journalist, WWII RAF pilot and observer of the atomic bomb tests at Bikini Atoll.
Lord Llewellin – a career Army officer who won the military cross in 1917, he served as Minister of Aircraft Production during early Anglo-American collaboration on the atomic bomb program.
Charles Dennistoun Burney – a prolific aeronautical engineer who designed an array of seaplanes, torpedoes and anti-mine devices before becoming a consultant for Vickers and then becoming involved in the development of the glide bomb during WWII.
Charles Thomas Mills – At 23, the youngest MP on his accession to the seat in 1910, Mills was killed in action at Hulluch during the Battle of Loos in WWI.
Frederick Dixon-Hartland – the first MP for Uxbridge, he was a fellow of the Royal Geographical Society who published a travel account entitled: ‘Tapographia; or a collection of tombs of royal and distinguished families, collected during a tour of Europe’.
Certainly a fascinating group to follow, Johnson is unlikely to disappoint. A pragmatic and effective politician with a penchant for bizarre references and historical anecdotes, he has proved to be a popular Mayor, although some remain unconvinced by his bluster.
Whilst it is hard at this stage to imagine him securing enough party support to usurp Cameron, a difficult election in 2015 for the Conservatives could clear the path for Johnson to become Uxbridge’s first Prime Minister, in addition to its latest eccentric political representative.