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Tuesday, January 18, 2022

What kind of leader would UK's BoJo be?

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What kind of leader would UK's BoJo be?
What kind of leader would UK's BoJo be?

As Boris Johnson continues to gain ground in the race to become Britain's next prime minister - questions are asked about what kind of leader he would make on the world stage.

Lauren Anthony reports.

He's commonly known as BoJo, or Boris.

And his iconic mop of blond hair, posh accent and dishevelled attire became his trademark.

And now the Conservative party's Boris Johnson is the overwhelming favorite to become Britain's next prime minister.

But with a string of both blunders and successes behind him, how might he tackle the top job?

55-year-old Johnson - or Alexander Boris de Pfeffel Johnson to give his full name - errs on the side of eccentric.

Though some might argue his flamboyance has become a political asset.

Others see his gaffes as an accident waiting to happen.

In 2008 he was elected as London Mayor.

His privileged background seemingly at odds with the popular appeal that saw him elected with the biggest personal mandate in British history.

But it was his cabinet role as foreign minister after the 2016 EU referendum that didn't sit well with many of his colleagues, who feared his loose lips would land the Conservative party in hot water.

Much like U.S. President Donald Trump, he appeared to emerge unscathed from slips and scandals.

He made a joke about dead bodies in Libya.

Prodded ally Saudi Arabia over proxy wars.

And after he quit the post - he said Muslim women who wear burkas look like letter boxes and bank robbers.

(SOUNDBITE) (English) CONSERVATIVE LEADERSHIP CANDIDATE, BORIS JOHNSON, SAYING: "In so far as my words have given offence over the last 20 or 30 years when I've been a journalist and people have taken those words out of my articles and escalated them, of course I am sorry for the offence that they have caused.

Those close to him argue that behind the bluster, Boris is a naturally introverted, shy and serious man focused on his goals.

A passionate Leave campaigner in the Brexit referendum - he touts himself as the only leader who can deliver ensure Britain leaves the European Union on October 31.

Until recently, he had been keeping an unusually low profile.

His refusal to engage in head-to-head debates led rival Jeremy Hunt to call him a coward.

But then, in an unusual misstep in his campaign, police were called to Johnson's home after neighbors heard a loud altercation between him and his girlfriend.

Police found no cause for action.

But following the incident, he changed gear - launching into a media blitz on TV and radio.

Regardless, few in his party believe anything can block his journey to 10 Downing Street.

160,000 Conservative party members will soon receive their ballot papers.

To make a final call on whether Johnson is better suited to light entertainment or leadership.

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