Boris Johnson: MPs vote in favour of Partygate report
Boris Johnson could opt to make a sensational move into US politics after Parliament’s ratification of the Partygate report, a Brexit-backing adviser to ex-US Presidents Donald Trump and Ronald Reagan has said.
Peggy Grande acknowledged the difficulties the New York-born former Prime Minister would face should he decide to seek elected office across the Atlantic.
However, she also suggested he might be helpful behind the scenes in a more tactical or advisory role – pointing out that “anything can happen” where the flamboyant 59-year-old is concerned.
Mr Johnson has resigned his Uxbridge and South Ruislip seat prior to the publication of a report by the Parliamentary Committee on Standards, which found he had repeatedly misled Parliament about his knowledge of lockdown-breaching events during the pandemic.
The committee subsequently said Mr Johnson would have been liable for three-month Parliamentary ban had he not quit as an MP.
He also launched a blistering attack on the committee, branding its findings “deranged”. The report was subsequently ratified by Parliament earlier this week.
Mr Johnson wasted little time, immediately taking a job as a columnist for the Daily Mail – but Ms Grande, who worked for Mr Reagan from 1989 to 1999, and for the Trump administration as a political appointee, said he had options in the US as well.
Despite being born in the Big Apple, Mr Johnson renounced his US citizenship in 2017, which Ms Grande said would clearly present a significant hurdle should he want to enter the US political arena.
Rules set out by the US House of Representatives – the lower chamber of Congress – state that members must be at least twenty-five years of age, a United States citizen for seven years, and an inhabitant of the state from which he or she is elected at the time of election.
Ms Grande said: “I’m not sure if the seven-year citizenship count would start over if Boris Johnson reinstated his US citizenship, or if he would get credit for the seven-plus years he was previously a citizen, but likely this would wind up in court before he could ever declare candidacy for any elected office here in the US.
“He also would have to have residency here, so would have to move and be living here before running for office.”
Mrs Grande, the former chair of World 4 Brexit, suggested it was still more probably that Mr Johnson would team up with former Brexit Party leader Nigel Farage some point “rather than spending years here in waiting, or amassing legal fees to ensure he could lawfully run at a future date in the US”.
However, she added: “But then again, this is politics, so anything could happen.
“And with Boris, the most surprising and unlikely course of action could always wind up being the most probable.”
Asked what form his future political participation could take, Ms Grande continued: “He certainly could jump into the political side here as a commentator anytime, but likely wants a more tactical role.
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“By tactical, I just meant I think he would want to still be personally involved in the political arena, not just talk about it – like working with Nigel to ensure Brexit is saved / fully implemented.
“I can see him going more that route than on the sidelines commentating. He seems wired to enjoy a fight and doesn’t mind the headwinds of opposition – they appear to motivate and embolden him rather than discouraging him.”
With respect to billionaire Mr Trump, who has already confirmed his intention to run for President next year, she said: “I’m not sure he could be helpful to Trump.
“Trump’s greatest needs here are to try to keep support from nervous Republicans who are tired of the constant legal fights, he needs to carve off some of the minority vote from the Democratic Party, and keep many of the white, educated, suburban mother vote he lost in 2020 but who returned a bit to the right in 2022.
“I don’t think Boris would be particularly helpful to him at this point with any of those demographics.
“That being said, a strong UK partner is always an asset to the US, and Trump or the Republican candidate will certainly represent a closer relationship between our two countries than would Joe Biden, who has proven to be fairly uninterested in the Special Relationship.”
She concluded: “Boris could definitely have a role here in the media and I’m sure would be a welcome guest on air here anytime.
“I think his credibility and the value of his input or commentary would be more significant though if he is actively involved in a political role there still, not just a former PM or MP.”
Boris Johnson was seen at the Ukraine Recovery Conference in London on Wednesday.
The former Prime Minister is a vocal supporter of Kyiv’s fight against the Russian invasion and repeated his call earlier for the West to focus on “ensuring a Ukrainian victory” and equip Kyiv with F-16 fighter jets.
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