“Are you crazy?” Johnson told journalists travelling with him to Kigali when prospects of his departure were raised, reports PA. The Prime Minister added:
Come on, it was only a year ago that we won the Hartlepool byelection, that everybody thought was… you know, we hadn’t won Hartlepool for, I can’t remember when the Tory party last won Hartlepool – a long time. I don’t think it ever had.
Governing parties generally do not win byelections, particularly not in mid-term. I’m very hopeful but, there you go. That’s just the reality.
Although Johnson declined to comment on suggestions that the Conservatives’ 1922 Committee could change the rules to allow a leadership challenge sooner, he said: “I’m focused entirely on delivering on the agenda of this government.”
“My golden rule is the less you talk about Westminster issues, the more you talk about the things you want to talk to the country about,” he added.
On Monday, the Prime Minister was admitted to the hospital for what No 10 said was a minor and routine operation on his sinuses.
Johnson was put under general anaesthetic and is now resting at home, leaveing Dominic Raab as deputy prime minister to be in charge of taking any significant decisions while he recovers.
No 10 said the operation was a success and had been scheduled “for a while”, adding that Johnson had been driven to the hospital at around 6 am on Monday and was returned home by 10 am.