The new Boris machine owes very little to Westminster

The new Boris machine owes very little to Westminster, by Fraser Nelson.

Until now, new Prime Ministers have always arrived in 10 Downing Street accompanied by the team they built around them in Parliament. But Boris Johnson is different. He is the creature of two Blair-era inventions: devolution and referendums. The team he is building around him in No. 10 is from City Hall and Vote Leave, where he was able to pioneer a new style of politics and government. …

He rejected the clannishness that infects Westminster, where loyalists are promoted (epitomised by David Cameron’s notorious chumocracy). Boris chose on talent alone: hence figures as diverse as Lynton Crosby, Munira Mirza and Kit Malthouse joined him in City Hall. He is doing the same in No. 10 and his various advisers will report to Sir Eddie Lister, his chief of staff. This might infuriate MPs, especially those who thought they’d follow their hastily-chosen chieftain into No. 10, but the clannish model has just been broken. …

The result of this will be to reject the old rules: that you govern, then at some stage switch to campaign mode. The Boris project is starting in campaign mode, and I doubt it will ever stop. This is one of Donald Trump’s innovations: never stop campaigning. To apply pressure to the insiders, appeal to the outside. …

And will it work? The odds against it are still huge: May wasted three years on a deal that Parliament would not and was never going to pass. To do a better job in a few weeks with an EU that prides itself on intransigence will be, to put it mildly, a challenge.