News & Politics

Dirty Politics in Britain: Boris Johnson Betrayed by Former 'Leave' Ally Michael Gove

Mayor of London Boris Johnson, left, poses with a wax figure of himself at Madam Tussauds wax museum in London, Tuesday, May 5, 2009 after being introduced to his new wax figure. Johnson's entry into the world famous attraction coincides with his first year in office. The figure, which has taken five months to create, will reside in the World Stage area of the attraction and will be the first United Kingdom politician to gain entry for nearly a decade. (AP Photo/Sang Tan)

Sir Lynton Crosby is the campaign manager for former London mayor, Boris Johnson. Johnson, flamboyant member of Parliament and Tory, was, until just yesterday, the favorite to succeed David Cameron as the leader of Britain’s Conservatives and, therefore, as prime minister.

Johnson was always considered to be Cameron’s likely successor, but especially so after he and his Leave campaign had won the Brexit referendum. Suddenly, every Tory saw that the emperor Cameron didn’t have any clothes and that Johnson was the one with real power.

Well, that was until yesterday morning. That’s when Johnson’s erstwhile ally in the Leave campaign, Justice Secretary Michael Gove, decided to stab him in the back. As the Telegraph explains:

Sir Lynton Crosby, Boris Johnson’s campaign manager, was making final preparations for the formal announcement of Mr Johnson’s Tory leadership bid when his phone rang at 8.53 on Thursday morning.

“Hi Lynton, it’s Michael Gove here,” said the voice on the other end. “I’m running.”

“Running what?” Sir Lynton replied.

“I’m running for the leadership myself.”

Only a few hours later, Johnson announced that he would give up his dreams of becoming Cameron’s successor because there weren’t enough Conservative members of Parliament left who had his back: Gove stole just about half of his support.

It was a truly epic betrayal. Not only were Johnson and his campaign manager shocked, but so were their allies in the media.

The one person who wasn’t shocked (but thrilled) was Home Secretary Theresa May, who instantly became the new favorite. And that’s rather interesting: May was against Britain leaving the EU, but she made sure she wasn’t too outspoken and passionate about it. That’s why she, and many of her fellow Tory leaders, believe she will be able to unite both the Leave and the Remain wings of the Tory party.

They could very well be right: Johnson’s supporters are opting for May because they can’t possibly forgive Gove for stabbing the former London mayor in the back.