Tories take on London Mayoral political strategist

17:45 18 November 2012

Boris Johnson said Lynton Crosby was the best campaign manager he had ever seen. File picture: PA

Boris Johnson said Lynton Crosby was the best campaign manager he had ever seen. File picture: PA

Archant

David Cameron has hired the man behind Boris Johnson’s London Mayoral successes to boost Tory re-election prospects, according to Downing Street sources.

Australian Lynton Crosby is reportedly set to start work within weeks as the Tory leader seeks to beef-up his operation ahead of the next general election in 2015.

The return of the figure closely associated with the Tories’ failed crime and immigration-centred 2005 campaign under Michael Howard has divided opinion in the party.

But Mr Johnson, whose two successful London mayoral campaigns were run by Mr Crosby, has played down his right-wing reputation and urged the Prime Minister to “break the piggy bank” to get him on board.

Tim Montgomerie, editor of influential website ConservativeHome, said Mr Crosby had “a good record of success and is perhaps the Alpha Male that Team Cameron has been missing since Andy Coulson exited.

“Coming on top of the decision to target 20 Lib Dem MPs, it is a sign that Team Cameron is re-gearing for the kind of ambitious campaign that will be necessary to win a majority at the next election,” he wrote.

But Mr Johnson has been forced to defend the strategist against claims about a foul-mouthed rant during this years London mayoral election.

Today’s Mail on Sunday quoted a source suggesting he had sworn when referring to Muslims.

A spokesman for Mr Crosby told the newspaper that he had “absolutely no recollection” of using the phrase and said it was “mischievous” to suggest he was racist.

Mr Johnson insisted Mr Crosby was “one of the sweetest nicest guys I’ve ever met.

“I don’t recognise this characterisation. He’s the best campaign manager I’ve ever seen. The Conservative Party has done well to retain his services.”

The mayor’s official spokesman also said Mr Johnson had no recollection of the alleged conversation in question.

“The Mayor would recognise that there were debates over the direction of strategy during the campaign. What he would not recognise is any suggestion of abusive or offensive language directed at any particular group of voters from any member of his campaign staff.”

Latest Stories from SNAP.PA

After weeks of challenges and cringeworthy boardroom showdowns, Lord Sugar made a decision – and Twitter was watching.

Read more

And the runner-up was OK about losing out to the “very credible” winner.

Read more

And we were all invited to the happy couple’s big day!

Read more

Promoted content

We've got a great selection of Secret Santa presents and stocking fillers for under a tenner...  (Photo by Matt Cardy/Getty Images)

Office Secret Santa: it’s a Christmas ritual that everyone dreads, but no-one wants to seem like a Scrooge by saying no. Never fear, London24 is here to make buying gifts for Dave in Accounts simple and stress-free, with a selection of presents for under a tenner

Money saving Christmas gifts to add to your shopping list!

It’s nearly time to go on the hunt for Christmas presents, stuck on what to get for your nearest and dearest? We’ve picked out a selection of great deals to get you started and to help you save some pennies!

After weeks of challenges and cringeworthy boardroom showdowns, Lord Sugar made a decision – and Twitter was watching.

And we were all invited to the happy couple’s big day!

And they have a role to play in saving their species.

TOP Stories

Yesterday, 18:22
Eragon the chihuahua has been reunited with his owner for Christmas after being found in a Santa sack miles away from his home (Picture: RSPCA)

A tiny chihuahua from London has been reunited with his owner for Christmas after being found left in a Santa sack on a church porch all the way in Hertfordshire.

Yesterday, 18:02
A murder investigation was launched after police were called to reports of a man stabbed at Lumley Flats in Pimlico Road (Picture: Google Streetview)

A 65-year-old woman has been bailed after being arrested on suspicion of murder following the fatal stabbing of a man at a flat in Pimlico.

Yesterday, 19:08
Chloe Williams  has not been seen since 3.30pm on Saturday, December 21 after leaving her home in Chingford (Picture: Metropolitan Police)

Police are appealing for information on the whereabouts of a missing 20-year-old woman from Chingford who said she was going to a friend’s house and has not been since.

London Bloggers

Thursday, November 27, 2014
The main room at the Museum of Comedy (Pic: Steve Ullathorne)

This week I visited the Museum of Comedy located at the corner of Museum Street and Bloomsbury Way in the crypt under St George’s Church.

Thursday, November 27, 2014
Bird Lovegod

I genuinely and honestly have only a slight problem when it comes to buying domain names.

Friday, November 14, 2014
Bird says back up your data

What happened after a friend of mine lost basically everything he’d created in the last 5 years: