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Boris Johnson and Michael Heseltine
talk on BBC Radio 4's 'Today' programme
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Friday, 14 July, 2000, 02:45 GMT 03:45 UK
Boris Johnson given safe Tory seat
Boris Johnson: "an honour and a privilege" to follow Michael Heseltine
The editor of The Spectator magazine, Boris Johnson, has been selected to stand for the safe Tory seat of Henley-on-Thames at the next general election.

The 36-year-old has won a three-way contest for selection as the Conservative prospective Parliamentary candidate for the Oxfordshire seat with an 11,167 majority.

Henley-on-Thames was the seat held at the last election by former Deputy Prime Minister Michael Heseltine.

After his victory Mr Johnson said: "It is a great honour and privilege to follow in the footsteps of Michael Heseltine who will go down as one of the great political figures of the 20th Century.

I have no doubt we have every chance of seeing Labour off when Tony Blair decides to call the election

Boris Johnson

"I am looking forward to getting stuck in to all the issues that matter to this constituency and serving the constituency as diligently and efficiently as I can.

"With the government in the state it is in, and the Conservatives well on the road to recovery, I have no doubt we have every chance of seeing Labour off when Tony Blair decides to call the election."

Mr Johnson said it would be up to the owners of The Spectator whether he remained as editor in the run-up to the next general election.

Mr Johnson had been a political writer and columnist for The Daily Telegraph newspaper before moving on to The Spectator.

Last laugh

However the Eton and Oxford-educated journalist is also well known for his appearance on the satirical quiz show Have I Got News For You. He was pilloried over his friendship with another old-Etonian Darius Guppy who was later jailed for fraud.

Mr Johnson took his revenge when he disclosed that the show's "impromptu" jokes and remarks were laboriously scripted.

The other two candidates on the shortlist for the Henley nomination were David Platt, a London barrister and Jill Andrew, a solicitor who stood for the Conservatives for Walthamstow at the last election.

Mr Heseltine took no part in the selection and his office said earlier he did not vote.

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01 May 00 | UK Politics
Heseltine gets Straw's vote
27 Apr 00 | UK Politics
Tributes as Heseltine bows out
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