NEW YORK -- Rupert Murdoch’s push to crown Michael Bloomberg as the next mayor of London received a fresh push from Boris Johnson on Monday, the current London mayor backing the former New York mayor to replace him in 2016.
Despite originating from unnamed sources in The Sunday Times, and a denial by Bloomberg’s former deputy mayor in the New York Post, Johnson rehashed the story in his column for The Telegraph, telling Bloomberg the London’s top job would be the "only way" to surpass his "epic 12-year career at the helm in Manhattan."
Boris Johnson talks with Michael Bloomberg on the balcony of City Hall, after launching the 2013-2014 Mayors Challenge in Europe on September 24, 2013 in London, England
Of course Johnson admitted hadn't bothered to call the honorary knight, 73, to confirm the reports as then he’d have had to come up with a different idea for his column.
Still, he wittered on: "My friends: there is only one conclusion. This is a test. Someone, somewhere is mounting a draft Bloomberg campaign and they are sticking their fingers in the wind, testing the waters and generally running it up the flagpole to see who salutes.
"I want you to know, therefore, that I am standing to attention and signalling my wholehearted approval. Mike, old friend, this is the big one. I had hoped that you would run for president but you have mystifyingly decided to let that chance pass.
"There is therefore only one way to excel your epic 12-year career at the helm in Manhattan; there is only one great municipal job that could conceivably count as a promotion; there is only one way to graduate upwards from the position of Mayor of New York, and that is to become the leader of a city that has regained its status as the greatest on earth.
"So let me say to Mike: you have done the apprenticeship, and done it with great distinction. Now is the time to step up to the plate and take on the fastest-growing and most dynamic urban economy in Europe."
Next Boris will be telling us he has no ambitions for No. 10...