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BORIS PUTS BOOT IN HIS BOSS CAM; I'd love to be PM, he says after snipe on 'Broken Britain'.

Byline: By SHEKHAR BHATIA in Beijing and SUSIE BONIFACE in London

BORIS Johnson delivered another blow to Tory leader David Cameron yesterday, saying it would be "an absolute privilege" to be Prime Minister.

London's mayor announced his intention to return to Parliament days after dismissing as "piffle" Cameron's claim that Britain is a "broken society".

Revelling in the limelight before accepting the Olympic flag in the closing ceremony of the Beijing Games, expected to be watched 1.5billion TV viewers tonight, Johnson said it would be "an absolute privilege" to serve as Prime Minister.

His remark is likely to cause yet more irritation to wannabe premier Cameron.

Johnson plans to serve two terms as mayor before returning to the Commons. "If I am offered a third term as mayor I will not stand," he said. "Being the mayor is a fantastic job and one that I enjoy doing."

Meanwhile, in a BBC interview he continued his attack on Cameron's doom-mongering talk of "Broken Britain".

Johnson said: "If you're suggesting Britain is a sort of spavined, broken-backed creature, that's not something I agree with. I don't accept that."

Comparing the country to a washing machine, he added: "It's not working terribly well, it's creaking a bit, it needs more rinse aid and there are things you can do. I think British society is not too bad really, considering." He went on to say Britain's amazing medal tally at the Games was proof the country was functioning well.

"If you look at what they're achieving in these Games and the medals they're hauling down and the incredible modesty and self-deprecation with which they do it, you'd feel a surging sense of pride in what British society is producing."

Tonight Johnson, in charge of the London Olympics in 2012, will sit next to Gordon Brown at the closing ceremony before taking centre stage himself - while David Cameron has to watch it on television.

A source close to him said: "Beijing has been a shop window for him to put on display his superb political skills and he has seized it with both hands."

But four years ago, Johnson admitted: "My chances of being PM are about as good as the chances of finding Elvis on Mars."

s.boniface@sundaymirror.co.uk

CAPTION(S):

Running mates... Brown, Coe, Johnson and Beckham watching the athletics in the Bird's Nest stadium yesterday Picture: GETTY IMAGES; GORDON BROWN: 'I run Great Britain'; SEBASTIAN COE: 'I ran for Great Britain'; BORIS JOHNSON: 'I want to run Great Britain'; DAVID BECKHAM: 'Nice bum'
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Publication:Sunday Mirror (London, England)
Date:Aug 24, 2008
Words:424
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