Boris Johnson could launch a “chicken run” for the safe seat of Henley after the seat became vacant ahead of the next election.
John Howell, who replaced him as the MP for Henley when he became Mayor of London in 2008, has announced he’ll be retiring ahead of the contest, likely to be held in the autumn of 2024.
It has fuelled speculation that the former PM could switch to the seat which is deemed safer than Uxbridge and South Ruislip, where Johnson’s majority dipped from 10,695 in 2015 to just 7,210 at the 2019 election.
Howell won comfortably in 2019 with a majority of 14,053 in 2019, and the seat just so happens to be close to a “magnificent” nine-bedroom Cotswolds mansion Johnson and his wife Carrie are understood to have bought
Tweeting in response to the rumours, Labour’s candidate in Uxbridge and South Ruislip, Danny Beales, posted the eyes emoji.
Johnson is believed to have expressed interest in a 400-year-old property, set in nearly five acres of land.
It has been listed as “sold STC [subject to contract]” on the estate agent’s website, which invited offers “in excess of £4million”.
Last month, the Uxbridge and South Ruislip Conservative Association adopted Boris Johnson as their parliamentary candidate.
“We look forward to continuing to work alongside him to deliver for the residents and communities within the constituency, where he has strong connections and involvement”, a statement read.
“His commitment to deliver a new Hillingdon hospital for Uxbridge & South Ruislip residents remains at the forefront of his work as our local MP.”
A spokesman for the former PM said: “Boris Johnson is standing in Uxbridge and South Ruislip at the next general election and was recently reselected as the Conservative candidate there.”