Boris Johnson visits Somerset to boost Conservative leadership campaign

PUBLISHED: 15:38 28 June 2019 | UPDATED: 17:01 28 June 2019

Boris Johnson with James Heappey MP, Neville Coles, staff and pupils at King Alfred School in Highbridge. Picture: Weston Mercury

Boris Johnson with James Heappey MP, Neville Coles, staff and pupils at King Alfred School in Highbridge. Picture: Weston Mercury

Weston Mercury

Boris Johnson, the man who wants to be the UK's next Prime Minister, has stopped off at a secondary school in Somerset this afternoon (Friday) to promote his leadership campaign.

He arrived at The King Alfred School Academy, in Highbridge, to meet staff and pupils on a visit to the West Country as he bids to become the next leader of the Conservative Party.

Mr Johnson spoke to staff and pupils at the school and was given a tour of the grounds.

The former Foreign Secretary is going head-to-head with his successor, Jeremy Hunt, to win the keys to number 10 and replace outgoing Prime Minister Theresa May.

Boris Johnson with pupils at King Alfred School in Highbridge. Picture: Weston MercuryBoris Johnson with pupils at King Alfred School in Highbridge. Picture: Weston Mercury

Both candidates have spent the past 24 hours campaigning at a hustings event in Bournemouth and Exeter.

Boris Johnson with staff and pupils at King Alfred School in Highbridge. Picture: Weston MercuryBoris Johnson with staff and pupils at King Alfred School in Highbridge. Picture: Weston Mercury

Mr Johnson, a former journalist, was given a tour of King Alfred's media centre, named after former Mercury reporter Jill Dando.

The school, which is overseen by The Priory Learning Trust, opened the Jill Dando News Centre to inspire the next generation of budding reporters.

Jacob Kemp, aged 15, said it was an honour to meet Mr Johnson.

Principal Nathan Jenkins said: "The Jill Dando News Centre students have been fantastic around our school, full of enthusiasm and talent.

"It has been an excellent year and we many much more exciting things to come."

Boris Johnson overseeing work done by pupils. Picture: Weston MercuryBoris Johnson overseeing work done by pupils. Picture: Weston Mercury

Neville Coles, executive principal of the trust, said: "We are delighted at the progress of TKASA and the Jill Dando reporters have been able to report on the considerable successes of students."

Boris Johnson with staff at King Alfred School in Highbridge. Picture: Weston MercuryBoris Johnson with staff at King Alfred School in Highbridge. Picture: Weston Mercury

Conservative MPs in Somerset have a split opinion on who is the best person to lead the UK.

Wells MP, James Heappey, whose constituency includes Highbridge, was an early advocate of Mr Johnson once Mrs May's departure was announced last month.

However, North Somerset and Weston-super-Mare MPs, Dr Liam Fox and John Penrose, have declared their allegiance to Mr Hunt.

Mr Coles added: "We are grateful to the local MP James Heappey and Boris Johnson for coming to see our students and developments."

In this morning's hustings, Mr Johnson denied he was 'measuring up the curtains' ahead of potentially moving into 10 Downing Street.

He said he had not promised any Conservative MPs a place in his Cabinet, assuming he was chosen by party members to lead the Tories.

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