Tory leadership favourite Boris Johnson has pleased with transport secretary Chris Grayling to consider backing one of his opponents instead, after discovering Grayling was publicly promoting his campaign.
After the first round of voting, Johnson holds a significant lead, securing 114 votes, more than double those of his nearest opponent – Jeremy Hunt on 43 – though his campaign insisted this means nothing when Chris Grayling is involved.
Boris’ campaign strategist Hugo Flattersly-Smythe told reporters, “If you look closely at his career, you will see that many successful projects and campaigns have fallen to the ground in ruins at the merest hint of involvement from Chris Grayling, so having him back Boris so publicly is just disaster waiting to happen.
“We have asked Chris to consider backing someone else – and we’ve asked quite forcefully – but he seemed to think we were playing hard to get and just said he supported Boris even more vociferously.
“At this point in time, everyone seems to think Boris moving into number 10 is a foregone conclusion – but, and I cannot stress this enough – the Grayling effect is a force of nature. Everything the man touches turns to utter shit. Man City would be relegated if he bought a season ticket at the Etihad.”
Bookmakers have said they would be willing to tweak their odds on Johnson after hearing rumours that Grayling was backing him.
Bookie Simon Williams told us, “Yes, Boris is the massive favourite, but I think we could comfortably push him out to 100-1 if we can get Grayling on prime time television telling everyone how great he thinks Boris is.
“Though given his history, I’m sure Boris will arrange to have him beaten up long before that happens.”