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Did Henley MP John Howell's decision to retire at the next general election come as shock?

No, not really to be honest.

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For the past few months, Mr Howell has remained tight-lipped about his political future, despite the constant speculation that Boris may choose to swap his Uxbridge seat for the politically safe Henley constituency.

Boris has always remained a political enigma and his next moves are frequently underestimated so it was only proper the rumours which suggested he may challenge Mr Howell for the seat were properly investigated.


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Of course, despite the Guardian reporting that Boris had ‘agreed to buy’ a multi million-pound house in Oxfordshire, his spokesman denied there was any truth to these rumours.

But then again, the Partygate scandal has shown Boris’ word always need to be taken with a 'pinch of salt'.

So, who is in the running to replace Mr Howell as Henley's Conservative candidate, I hear you ask.

Oxford Mail: John Howell MP John Howell MP

Well, Boris has already been re-selected for his Uxbridge and South Ruislip seat so the chances of him deciding to move now seem slim.

Boris choosing to move seats because of the fear of losing wouldn’t make for great optics for retaining this image he likes to project of always winning elections.

Mr Howell raked in 54 per cent of the vote share in the 2019 general election so whoever does succeed the politically shy MP can be assured their election campaign would have to be a complete diaster to run the risk of losing the seat.

But, in politics the extraordinary can always happen so never say never.