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    British Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson, left and Britain's Prime Minister Theresa May arrive for a meeting during the NATO summit of heads of state and government, at the NATO headquarters, in Brussels on Thursday, May 25, 2017.

    Don't Steal My Thunder: Boris Stays on Top Despite Unstatesmanlike Behavior

    © AP Photo / Thierry Charlier
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    Despite continuous criticism over his diplomatic and political blunders, British Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson continues to hold a secure top spot in the list of the nation’s leadership contenders, as per Conservative Party members.

    The fact that he seems to be prone to gaffes is not thought to have damaged Boris Johnson's popularity when it comes to determining who the next Conservative Party leader should be.

    A poll has shown him to be the favorite among Conservatives to be their next leader, and therefore Prime Minister, if under-pressure Theresa May steps down.

    The Yougov poll found 23 percent of Conservative Party members favored Johnson as their next leader, with the Scottish Tory leader Ruth Davidson second on 19 percent and backbencher Jacob Rees-Mogg on 17 percent.

    Significantly, Johnson was also more popular among the lower income demographic groups, which lends support to the idea that he would have popular appeal to "working class" voters, who traditionally favor the Labour Party.

    The same poll found 56 percent of Conservative Party members believed Johnson would be a good leader, but 36 percent felt he would be a bad leader.

    Indeed, Johnson has been target of criticism many times, both by the opposition and his own party members. Following his statement that the Libyan city of Sirte can be turned into the next Dubai and "he only thing they have to do is clear the dead bodies away" — Boris's fellow Tory MP tweeted: 

    However, despite occasional slips, the UK Foreign Sec remains a steady leadership candidate with bookmakers have his odds of becoming the next Tory leader as low as 4-1, with Brexit Secretary David Davis just behind him on 5-1 or 6-1, followed by Rees-Mogg, Chancellor Philip Hammond and Home Secretary Amber Rudd. 

    Her Weakness — His Strength?

    During her speech to the Tory conference in Manchester on Wednesday, October 4, the UK PM Theresa May apologized for being "too scripted" during the general election campaign. She has also admitted that her "unemotional" image as an "ice maiden" had been damaging. 

    Following the Grenfell Tower tragedy on June 14, the PM has been criticized for dispassionate and technocratic response. Boris Johnson, on the other hand, has been often portrayed and perceived by both the public and the media as a relatively less rigid politician. UK Foreign Office civil servants even had to tell the government ministers stop referring to Foreign Secretary as just "Boris".

    Whether it is Johnson's more relaxed image or the instability of the current government, he appears to remain among the Conservatives' favorites, while May had to deal with an disruptive incident during the Tory party conference.

    May was ambushed by a serial prankster Simon Brodkin who gave her a P45 — a form routinely given to UK workers who are leaving their jobs — before being escorted out.  

    "Boris told me to do it," Brodkin said as he was escorted out by the security guards, after interrupting May's speech.  


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