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Boris Johnson: Where Does He Stand?

Friday 9th August 2014

As Boris Johnson prepares to re-enter national politics, many may be asking themselves where the Mayor of London stands on specific issues.

Boris Johnson

Boris Johnson announcing his intent to stand as an MP in 2015 has been termed by some as the “worst kept secret in British politics.”

Boris’ draw to the bright lights of the national stage is well reported, with the popular London mayor speaking early and often on national and global issues.

What might, however, be a slightly more guarded secret are some of Boris Johnson’s specific stances and policies. Now that London’s very populist mayor has thrown his hat back into national politics, it may be useful to brush up on some of his beliefs on key domestic and international issues.

Boris Johnson on Europe

Louise Mensch recently slammed Boris Johnson, saying he was “a massive Europhile” and that there was “precisely zero chance” of him becoming leader of the Tory party if he kept up his Euro-loving ways. Since then Boris Johnson has been quoted as saying:

• "Britain can only achieve meaningful EU reform if it's serious about leaving”

• "Our detailed study shows it's definitely a viable option for the UK to be outside the EU."

Boris Johnson on London Transportation   

bob crow boris tube
• In 2008 Boris planned to “Broker a ‘no strike’ deal with tube workers”

• He said he would "stop the planned ticket office closures"

• In 2014 Boris was quoted as saying: “Ticket offices are old-fashioned technology, when I first started talking about them six years ago iPhones weren’t even invented yet.”

Boris Johnson’s inability to deliver on his promise to tube workers has been likened to the Nick Clegg Tuition fees promise. His guarantee not to close ticket offices has been a sore subject for the mayor since before the tube strikes earlier this year.

 Boris Johnson on Immigration  

"We don't want to be slamming up the drawbridge being completely horrible to people.  If you want to come and work here you can do that but there should be a period before which you can claim all benefits and it seems entirely reasonable to me that they should extend that to two years.”

Boris Johnson generally favours EU and non-EU immigration, unlike many of his Tory peers. Boris Johnson is one of the only senior Tory politicians not involved in heated immigration rhetoric. Boris is, however, in favour of more detailed immigration checks as well as curbing which benefits can be claimed by new immigrants.

Boris Johnson on HS2

• 2011: "It is perverse that a section of the route through Greater London, clearly affecting large numbers of people, has been subject to so little environmental mitigation."

• 2014: "People are in the humiliating position of having to pretend that there's some environmental objection that they have, that the great crested grebe is going to be invaded or whatever.”

Boris Johnson’s recent opinions on HS2 seem to favour big infrastructure. He was once quoted as saying the government should approach HS2 path homeowners with big cheques to clear the way for HS2 expansion. This does, however, conflict with an earlier stance where he publically disagreed with David Cameron’s own approach to HS2.

Boris Johnson on Affordable Housing

Boris Johnson pledged to build 100,000 affordable homes in London by the end of 2016 and his offices have confirmed that, as of July, 78,000 affordable homes have been completed.

However, Boris opposed Ken Livingstone’s 50% affordable housing plan because it would create what he called a “ghetto” feeling.

Boris Johnson’s affordable housing proposals included cutting government subsidies so that tenants were paying up to 80% of the property's market value. This was deemed unhelpful for those who would struggle to pay even 50% of market value, let alone 80%.

boris johnson david cameron

As Boris Johnson wades back into Parliamentary politics, it remains to be seen whether his past stances will hold true or if he will align them more closely with party leader David Cameron. Time will only tell if his parliamentary politics will be as intriguing as his stances suggest.