Boris Johnson took a break from campaigning to become Britain’s next Prime Minister to visit Melton last night (Thursday) to fulfill a long-standing engagement at a fundraising dinner.
Fresh from polling the most votes in this week’s first ballot to decide the new party leader to success Theresa May, Mr Johnson gave a speech in which he outlined the job he would do if he makes it to 10 Downing Street.
The event, attended by 250 people, was to have been held in the grounds of Belvoir Castle but after the recent heavy rain it was moved at the last minute to the Banquet Suite at Melton Livestock Market.
Leigh Higgins, a Melton borough councillor and chair of the East Midlands Conservative Association, told the Melton Times: “Boris made a good speech and talked about what he wanted to do if he becomes the leader.
“The event went very well considering we had to move it at the last minute and it was quite something for Melton to have potentially our next Prime Minister in town.”
Mr Johnson, a prominent Brexiteer, was one of 10 original candidates for the race to become Prime Minister. He polled 114 votes in the first poll this week, which was 71 ahead of his nearest rival. There are now seven left in the contest.
Councillot Higgins, who says he has not yet decided who he will back in the leadership battle when it goes to a final vote among Tory members, added: “It was great that Boris was happy to come along last night despite all his other commitments at the moment.
“It was probably in his interests to attend and he spoke to a lot of people on the night.
“He didn’t say if he was confident of winning the vote but he asked people to vote for him.
“Boris is clearly a very intelligent person and he is good at building a strong team around him as he showed when he was Mayor of London.”
Last night’s dinner, which was a fundraiser for the Conservative Association, was organised by Rutland and Melton, Grantham and Stamford and the Sleaford and North Hykeham associations.
Rutland and Melton MP, Sir Alan Duncan, who has given his backing to Jeremy Hunt in the leadership battle, was not present at the dinner.