It has not been an easy week for the Foreign Secretary.
It begun with reports the Foreign Secretary repeatedly used an expletive when asked about the fears of business leaders over Brexit. Following this, a hastily arranged visit to Afghanistan was scheduled so the Foreign Secretary could be absent when a difficult vote on the third runway in Heathrow occurred. This drew scores of criticism from across the political spectrum.
So what has happened to Boris Johnson?
Despite his recent antics, it is important not to forget his previous achievements. In Labour London he won back to back terms as a Conservative Mayor. Additionally, his decision to back Leave in the EU referendum was a decisive factor in Leave’s victory. Only two years ago he was the favourite to be the next Prime Minister. This is not a politician who has always been viewed as a failure.
However, since the infamous Tory leadership race in 2016, Boris star has continued to wane. Despite being given the Foreign Secretary position he has failed to impress. On Brexit he has shown his bark is far worse than his bite and on diplomatic issues he has often shown an ability to cause more trouble. Even amongst a Government hardly firing on all cylinders, the Foreign Secretary is viewed as a laughing stock.
So how does this end? Firstly, it appears despite everything, the Prime Minister lacks the authority to fire him.
Could he resign? Possibly, one day. Although having threatened to do this so often, everyone has stopped taking him seriously on this.
What about inheriting the throne? Unlikely, although there is a Teflon like character about Boris he is losing allies and friends by the day.
Kicked out by his constituents? Boris only has a small majority and is vulnerable. A Labour party on the march in London certainly have his seat in their sights.
But most likely. In my opinion, once Boris realises he cannot be Prime Minister, he will walk away. He does not have the capacity to simply be another member of the team. His ego will not allow it.
Enoch Powell once stated “all political careers end in failure.” The Foreign Secretary is on the verge of finding this out. It is just a matter of when rather than if this happens. There will be no fairy-tale ending here for Boris.
Article by Mike Hough
Photograph by The Evening Standard