In response to this article by Emma Brockes, Rachel Sylvester responds:
This response – which is no doubt backed by an all-out PR war, as Russia is shortly expected to overtake the UK as the country with the largest army – reflects the extent to which Boris Johnson has run his internal brand of contrarianism completely out of control. His risk-taking approach, which is usually adopted by those just arriving in high office, seems to have earned Boris just the kind of personal attacks he is deploying against his fellow Tories.
Johnson has always failed to gain universal popularity among politicians and ordinary members of the public, but I don’t think his ambition has been why he has sustained a disproportionate popularity in Parliament. Rather, he has always responded to the press, because he thrives on the live television.
He may have lost sight of the fact that BBC reality shows often feature a number of those who are subject to similar jibes, and he has repeatedly failed to realise that he is a mere one of the competition.
This is part of the reason why I am unsure that Boris will go down in history as a political failure of note. He has attracted a large number of loyal supporters, and each subsequent scandal tends to reinforce that support, particularly in the unlikely event that Theresa May does choose to beat a hasty retreat and give up on the Brexit negotiations.