Boris Johnson’s appearance in Downing Street this week set many tongues-a-wagging. Ostensibly there to talk about Europe, many speculated that the conversation may also have wandered onto the subject of the job Boris can expect in the post-referendum reshuffle expected in September.
The September shuffle is widely expected to be David Cameron’s last major one as Prime Minister, and so the changes he makes will be critical in how they set the various candidates up for their leadership campaigns to come.
By common consent, the hardest two jobs from which to run for Leader are Foreign Secretary and Home Secretary. Foreign because you are abroad so much you cannot cultivate your base in the party, and Home because of the remarkable propensity for “stuff” to go wrong under the watch of the person in charge of hot potatoes like crime, police, prisons, immigration and the like.
So how intriguing is the rumour that Cameron’s final shuffle will move Boris Johnson to the Home Office poisoned chalice whilst offering Theresa May the chance to become a stateswoman on the world stage in the Foreign Office. Both promotions on the face of it, but not ones which aid their leadership chances.
And who is the schemer advising the Prime Minister on all of this? Well George Osborne of course. It’s almost like he has ambitions of his own!