He may be fond of lazy generalisations when it comes to Northern towns or foreign countries, but Boris Johnson can't be accused of being idle himself. Beneath that languid public persona lies a hard-working, sleeves-rolled-up, can-do kinda guy, as demonstrated by his vow yesterday that - despite his candidacy for mayor of London - he would not give up his seat in Parliament in the event of a snap election.
Speaking about the good people of his constituency in Henley-on-Thames, Boris said that, should they want him to stay on as MP, he "wouldn't want to let them down". He also hit back at suggestions that his refusal to vacate the safe seat he was bequeathed in 2001 reflects a lack of conviction in his ability to beat Ken Livingstone. When asked about balancing the needs of his constituents with a mayoral campaign, he retorted, "I've answered all that", before failing to offer any answers whatsoever, instead waffling vaguely about “stepping up” the work.
Last month, when he was confirmed as the Tory candidate, Boris had stated that he would indeed step down if he became mayor. Yesterday, however, he seemed less sure, describing the possibility of doing both jobs as merely "unlikely". Perhaps his mind was swayed by the news of Crossrail's go-ahead, which would allow him to travel from Maidenhead (near Henley) to the City in less than an hour. Unfortunately, the trains won't be running until 2015, which does give Mr. Johnson time to wean himself from that nasty habit of making unfortunate gaffes - and to pray for an incumbent less adroit than Ken Livingstone.
Image taken from Laura Callan's Flickrstream