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Mutual support: Boris Johnson endorsed Andrea Leadsom’s bid to be Tory leader in 2016. Now she has been defeated again, she has come out for him.

Tory leadership favourite Boris Johnson must be just glowing after he won the support of Andrea Leadsom, the former rival who fell out of the contest at the first hurdle.

Ms Leadsom gave “two key reasons” for backing Mr Johnson:

“One is I think he is the best placed to get us out of the EU at the end of October. His view and mine are closely aligned there.

“Secondly, I do believe he is an election winner. He is someone who can bring the country and the party back together and take us forward in a positive way.

“And the third thing which is more nuanced really is that he and I share a scepticism about the HS2 project on the grounds of value for money.

“But he, at the same time, has a big commitment to improving infrastructure in the country to a pro-business agenda that will really get our ecomony to be motoring, which is essential in a post-Brexit world.”

The first thing we should notice about that is, Ms Leadsom can’t count – those are four reasons.

Next, let’s all remember that she is a hardline Brexiter who wants out and doesn’t care if it’s without a deal. So she’s making Mr Johnson the “no-deal” candidate (which may upset Dominic Raab’s plans somewhat).

Moving on, she’s saying she doesn’t care if he wrecks the Tory claim of “fiscal responsibility” (which is a myth in any case).

Finally, let’s look at what she didn’t say – but should have.

Mr Johnson endorsed Ms Leadsom’s candidacy in 2016, saying she had the “zip, drive and determination” to be prime minister. One might say it was only fair that she return the favour – once she was knocked out of the race again, of course.

The rest is summed up in a comment to This Site that I saw today:

“I fear that Boris could do something either spectacularly immoral, like cheating on a wife or girlfriend, or abandoning a partner and child, or helping a friend get a journalist beaten up, or making blatant racist remarks, or else do something spectacularly inept like wasting millions of taxpayer pounds on London water cannon that have to then be scrapped or planning a Garden Bridge that never got built, or denouncing Tory donors by saying “F**k business”, and he would still be the Tory voter’s favourite.”

And has he not done those things already?

Here’s Chris Patten, putting it a different way:

This is the kind of man Ms Leadsom thinks should be prime minister.

It seems clear that knocking her out of the leadership race early was a wise decision.

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