The former Foreign Secretary, who launched his campaign yesterday, has secured the support of 83 MPs out of a total of 234 who have declared their preferred candidate. This puts him head and shoulders above his nearest challenger, Jeremy Hunt on 34 MPs. Mr Johnson declared yesterday that he had the “guts and courage” to take the UK out of the EU by October 31 – deal or not.
However, he has one big weakness according to Ken Livingstone, who went head-to-head with Mr Johnson twice in the battle to be Mayor of London, losing both times.
Mr Livingstone was the first Mayor of London from 2000-2008 but was then beaten by Mr Johnson in 2008 and 2012.
The veteran left-winger said his former opponent’s weakness is that he wants to be loved by everyone, even his political adversaries.
In 2012, when the pair were campaigning to be Mayor of London they had a heated debate on LBC, during which both men accused the other of being a tax avoider.
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Boris Johnson launched his bid to be leader yesterday, polls for the first ballot opened today (Image: GETTY)
Ken Livingstone on 2013 BBC documentary 'Boris Johnson: The Irresistible Rise' (Image: YouTube / N P)
After the programme, it was reportedly Mr Johnson who sought to make up, Mr Livingstone told