Boris Johnson Vows to ‘Focus’ on Agenda as He Eyes 3rd Term as Prime Minister

Boris Johnson Vows to ‘Focus’ on Agenda as He Eyes 3rd Term as Prime Minister
Prime Minister Boris Johnson departs 10 Downing Street (Dominic Lipinski/PA)
Lily Zhou

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson said on Sunday that his “golden rule” is to “focus on what we are going” as he continued trying to steer questions away from fresh doubts about his premiership sparked by a double by-election defeat.

He also told reporters the day prior that he was “thinking actively” about a third term in office, which would be into the mid-2030s.

After the Conservative Party suffered two election losses on Thursday, party chair Oliver Dowden resigned over the outcome, saying “somebody must take responsibility.”
It was also suggested that rebels in the 1922 committee of Conservative backbenchers could be plotting to force Johnson out by pushing a second no-confidence vote. But Johnson on Saturday said the rebels should let go of the fixation on what he was “meant to have stuffed up.”

Asked if he would lead his party into the next general election, Johnson told reporters who traveled with him to Kigali, “Will I win? Yes.”

The prime minister went even further to say, “At the moment I’m actively thinking about the third term and what could happen then, but I will review that when I get to it.”

Johnson: We’ve Got a Huge Amount to Do

Asked at the Group of Seven summit in Germany on Sunday if his ambition to serve a third term is delusional, given “much of your party think you won’t survive this one,” Johnson said: “What I’m saying is this is a government that is getting on with delivering for the people of this country and we’ve got a huge amount to do.”

Johnson said the government has “got to get people through” the “post-COVID, Ukraine-exacerbated inflationary pressures,” improve the economy, reform energy and housing markets and transport networks, reduce the costs of the government, cut taxes, and stand up for British values by helping to solve the “terrible problem in Ukraine.”

Pressed on whether or not he’s worried about another confidence vote, Johnson responded by saying the “golden rule” is to “focus on what we are doing.”

Johnson told ITV News that he believes his government has done is “pretty remarkable,” and vowed to “continue to do that.”

Scrutiny a ‘Good Thing’

In an interview with CNN, the British prime minister suggested that it’s a “good thing” that “leaders are under scrutiny.”

“The positive thing is that it means you have a government that has to respond, has to think about, what the public wants and to just make a serious point about the G–7 countries … contrasted to the autocracies, both China and Russia, I think make big mistakes because they don’t have those democratic checks and balances,“ he said, adding Russian President Vladimir Putin probably wouldn’t invade Ukraine if ”he’d had a committee of backbenchers, the 1922 Committee, on his case.”

Cabinet minister Brandon Lewis said during a round of interviews on Sunday he thinks the PM is serious in his aspirations, arguing his desire to look “long-term” when it comes to his leadership “has got to be a good thing.”

But the attacks have kept on coming from his own backbenches on Saturday night, with Damian Green, who chairs the One Nation caucus of Tory MPs, warning the government “needs to alter both its style and content” and calling on Cabinet members with leadership hopes to show their stripes.

Shadow Minister: Labour ‘On Its Way Back’

In the by-election in the Devon constituency of Tiverton and Honiton on Thursday, a dramatic swing of almost 30 percent from the Conservatives saw their 24,000 majority overturned by the Liberal Democrats.

In West Yorkshire, Labour seized back Wakefield with a majority of 4,925 on a swing of 12.7 percent, from the Tories.

Shadow Foreign Secretary David Lammy told Sky’s “Sophy Ridge On Sunday” programme that he believes “Labour is on its way back” to the government, with Labour Leader Sir Keir Starmer daring the government to bring on an early election.

Speaking to Trevor Phillips on Sky’s Sophy Ridge On Sunday programme, the shadow foreign secretary said: “We did well in the local elections.

Lammy ruled out a Labour pact with the Liberal Democrats or the SNP, saying the party wants to “win outright” in the next election.

PA Media contributed to this report.