Which version of Boris Johnson will Norfolk's nervous businesses get?

PUBLISHED: 14:30 23 July 2019 | UPDATED: 14:30 23 July 2019

Conservative Party leadership candidate Boris Johnson during a Tory leadership hustings in London.

Conservative Party leadership candidate Boris Johnson during a Tory leadership hustings in London.

PA Wire/PA Images

The nerves are palpable in Norfolk's business community at the appointment of Boris Johnson as prime minister. But business editor Richard Porritt argues the biggest unanswered question is 'which Mr Johnson will we get?'

When quizzed about fears over Brexit's impact on business the incoming prime minister is alleged to have used some rather salty language.

To paraphrase, it is reported he said: "Stuff business."

It is not surprising then that Boris Johnson's victory is causing some concern.

The big question is "which Boris are we going to get?" And that is very tricky to answer.

MORE: Boris Johnson to become country's prime minister

Mr Johnson is a political wind sock - he checks in which direction the prevailing wind is going before committing to a stance.

In many respects he was a liberal, business-friendly London mayor. But those credentials have been somewhat muddied in the aftermath of his wholehearted support for leaving the European Union.

So is his hard-Brexiteer reputation a political facade? A plot to bag the top job?

There are many question marks over whether Mr Johnson is a suitable candidate to lead the United Kingdom. His detractors claim he is a lightweight prone to gaffs.

But supporters believe he can galvanise not only the Conservatives but the whole country. He can certainly deliver a rousing - if sometimes rambling - speech.

Among the 160,000 Tory members that decided the new PM there were two clear reasons for backing Mr Johnson: Brexit and Jeremy Corbyn.

Overwhelmingly the grass-roots back Brexit - and quickly. But perhaps even more importantly they see Mr Johnson as a man who can beat Mr Corbyn's Labour party.

He has succeeded against the left before in two mayoral elections. But he is a toxic candidate in many regions including the North and Scotland.

He will have to work hard to get the East's business leaders onside - and Brexit remains the key issue. Many believe Mr Johnson's insistence on leaving the EU by the end of October come what may is naive.

Whether that was campaign trail bluster or an unshakable pledge remains to be seen.

Mr Johnson will probably go to the country soon. He will want to add real legitimacy to his premiership in the form of a general election victory.

To achieve that he needs business onside.

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