AMBITIOUS Boris Johnson will need to keep a cool head as he faces the toughest challenge of any PM to take office outside of wartime.
Handicapped by a wafer-thin Commons majority, he has to deliver Brexit in 100 days, solve the Iranian crisis and rule on domestic policy decisions kicked into the long grass by predecessor Theresa May.
Boris Johnson has won the race to become Britain’s next Prime Minister[/caption]
And Tory MPs pointed out that all of this has to be achieved against a backdrop of feuding advisers and Boris’ headline grabbing relationship with PR girlfriend Carrie Symonds.
There was no sign of Carrie yesterday but she expected to be by his side in No10 in the coming days as the new PM settles into the biggest job in the nation.
Boris claimed to be “undaunted” by the scale of the task facing him in his “dream job”.
Defeated rival Jeremy Hunt said today: “It’s a challenging moment for our country — this is perhaps the most difficult legacy that a prime minister has inherited in peacetime. It’s going to be very challenging.”
Defence Minister Tobias Ellwood said it was the toughest task facing any incoming PM since Winston Churchill.
Paul Goodman, of website Conservative Home, said he feared that for all the optimism, Boris had not yet worked out how he may tackle the crisis he faces.
He told The Sun: “I think he faces the worst political inheritance of any Conservative leader post-war — and possibly ever.
“Why? He has ‘Remainers’ to the left of him, ‘Spartans’ or arch Brexiteers to the right of him and a working majority of only three and perhaps soon to be one.
“The party is riven by Brexit and if I know Boris, it’s not at all clear that he has a plan. Welcome to hell.”
Last night arch Brexiteers stepped up pressure by insisting that the new PM lived up to his promise to deliver Brexit by October 31 — even if it means leaving the EU without a deal.
Senior Eurosceptics said this meant appointing “true Brexiteers” into the powerful offices of state — such as Foreign Secretary and Defence Secretary.
One said: “The key to all this will be Boris taking us out as he has promised ‘no ifs, no buts’.”
Mr Johnson is expected to spend the rest of the week filling out Cabinet and junior Ministerial positions before making his first big speech on Saturday.
This will be followed by a whistle-stop tour of Belfast, Edinburgh and Cardiff.
As well as wooing Mrs May’s unionist allies in the DUP, Boris’s associates want to try and repair his reputation in Scotland.
Insiders are adamant that alongside the huge task of delivering Brexit, the new PM will want to deliver a “domestic policy blitz” to show a marked change from Mrs May’s regime.
The Sun yesterday revealed his top priority will be to unveil the Government’s long-delayed plan to plug the huge £3.5billion funding black hole in social care.
MPs also want action on school funding and for Boris to back Sajid Javid’s plan to restore the Tory Party’s reputation on law and order.
During the leadership campaign, Boris echoed the Home Secretary’s promise to hire 20,000 more police officers to tackle “soaring crime levels”.
Last night Mr Johnson told Tories he would also deliver on his campaign vow to The Sun to safeguard Northern Ireland veterans from prosecution.
ODDS ON BORIS LEAVING
And he reiterated his pledge to roll out super-fast broadband across the country.
Critics said the new PM could not escape the economic reality of slowing growth around the world threatening to reduce Downing Street’s spending power.
Figures last week shocked the City with borrowing in June doubling to more than £7billion.
Bookies highlighted the challenge facing the new PM — claiming there is a one-in-three chance of him leaving No10 this year.
Oddschecker put an exit date of 2019 at 9/4 with odds of 5/1 for Boris remaining until 2023.
Biz in plea
BUSINESS leaders want a quick Brexit deal so BoJo can concentrate on spending and infrastructure policies to boost Britain.
Confederation of British Industry chief Carolyn Fairbairn insisted: “There is no time to waste.”
And the Federation of Small Businesses wants business rates reformed and more broadband and mobile investment.
Meanwhile, the CBI hopes the new PM will help boost factory orders, which have seen their biggest fall since 2009.
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He enters No10 with a working majority of just three. But this is almost certain to fall to two on August 1 with the Lib Dems widely tipped to win the Brecon and Radnorshire by-election.
Nick Boles — who quit the Tory whip over Brexit in April — said: “Everybody better recharge their batteries over August.
“September and October are going to be unlike anything that has happened before.”
Boris’s relationship with girlfriend Carrie Symonds has made headlines[/caption]
Jeremy Hunt congratulated Mr Johnson on his victory[/caption]
Boris job on DUP
ONE of Boris Johnson’s first major tests will be his handling of DUP leader Arlene Foster after she demanded assurances his Brexit strategy will not harm Northern Ireland.
She said she would review the DUP’s deal with the Tories, which is crucial in propping up the party’s three-seat majority.
After speaking to Mr Johnson on the phone, she said: “The agreement between the Conservative Party and the Democratic Unionist Party remains.
“It will be reviewed and will explore the policy priorities of both parties.”
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