Boris Johnson is being lined up as Britain’s next foreign secretary, according to a report by The Telegraph. The newspaper said David Cameron is to hand the Uxbridge MP the top government position once his role as mayor ends next May.
Giving Boris foreign office would be a way to ensure his support in the upcoming EU referendum, according to Tory sources. Johnson, who in recent years has flirted with Euroscepticism, would replace current minister Philip Hammond, who this week was at the UN in New York to agree a peace roadmap for Syria.
Although Johnson currently attends cabinet meetings as part of the government, the former journalist does not have a ministry to run. The move would benefit Boris by allowing the ambitious mayor to position himself as a frontrunner for the Tory leadership, competition for the current favourite to replace Cameron at the end of this parliament, Chancellor George Osborne.
Following talks in Brussels this week on a renegotiated EU deal for Britain, Cameron hinted that the long-awaited referendum on Britain’s membership would likely be held next June.
Despite Cameron’s optimism, the PM has failed to win any major concessions from his EU counterparts, particularly on his demand to stop in-work benefits for migrants for up to four years, a move decried by other EU leaders as “discriminatory.”
Last week, Boris spoke out on a petition calling for Republican presidential frontrunner Donald Trump to be banned from entering Britain over his comments calling for a Muslim travel ban. Though Boris said Trump should be allowed entry into the UK, the London mayor said Trump's "stupefying ignorance" proved he was "clearly out of his mind."