Boris Johnson has confirmed he's aiming to be the Conservative candidate for Uxbridge and South Ruislip.
Just a couple of weeks after finally capitulating to years of speculation and admitting he wants to go back into Parliament in 2015, Johnson told the Evening Standard he'll be submitting his formal application this week (the deadline is Thursday). The incumbent Tory MP, John Randall, is stepping down and it was widely believed that Boris would head west — it's a safe seat (11,000 majority in 2010) and, assuming he wins, wouldn't require time away from London on constituency visits while he tries to combine being an MP with Mayor.
Assuming he wins. The thing about Uxbridge and South Ruislip is that it has a lot of people who work at Heathrow. And as we all know, Boris Johnson is very keen to replace Heathrow with a new airport in the Thames Estuary, about as far from Uxbridge as it's possible to get while still pretending to be in London. Only today, City Hall released figures showing that an Estuary airport would create around a third more jobs than an expanded Heathrow. Said the Mayor:
"A new hub airport, properly planned, has the potential to reshape the economic geography of London and the whole of the southeast for decades to come."
Reshaping it away from his proposed new constituency and towards East London, Kent and Essex. A potential voter backlash might give the local Conservative association, in whose hands rests the decision of who to pick as its candidate, pause for thought, though we can't imagine Boris would be throwing his hat in this particular ring without having checked the lie of the land first. What will be interesting to watch is whether the other local parties band together to produce a 'Stop Boris' candidate, standing on a pro-Heathrow and jobs platform.