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Boris Johnson speaks at a press conference during the Commonwealth heads of government summit in Rwanda. (Photo: Dan Kitwood via PA Wire/PA Images)
Boris Johnson has risked further angering his Tory critics by claiming he aims to be prime minister into the 2030s.
Speaking while in Rwanda for the Commonwealth heads of government summit, he said he was “thinking actively” about fighting the next two general elections.
If successful, it would make him the longest-serving post-war leader.
The prime minister has come under fresh pressure to resign from Tory MPs and party grandees after the party’s two by-election defeats on Thursday.
Asked by journalists at the British high commissioner’s residence in the Rwandan capital, Kigali, if he would lead his party into the next election, Johnson said: “Will I win? Yes.”
He then added: “At the moment I’m actively thinking about the third term and what could happen then, but I will review that when I get to it.”
The next general election is due in 2024, meaning the one after that would have to take place in 2029 at the latest.
One of his fiercest critics, Tory backbencher Andrew Bridgen, told HuffPost UK: “I don’t mind if the PM stays till 2030, he can resign at 9pm if he wants.”
The PM’s comments came just hours after he had insisted he will not change his leadership style.
He told Radio Four’s Today programme: “f you’re saying you want me to undergo some sort of psychological transformation, I think that our listeners would know that is not going to happen.”
Johnson’s comments came amid fresh attempts by Conservative MPs to remove him from his post.
Tory rebels are plotting to change the party’s rules so they can hold a second confidence vote just weeks after he survived a first one.
They plan to win a majority on the 1922 committee of backbench Conservative MPs in order to push the reforms through.
Meanwhile, former deputy prime minister Damian Green has joined the growing ranks of senior Conservatives who want Johnson to go.
Writing in the Sunday Telegraph, Green, who leads the One Nation Caucus of moderate Tory MPs, said: “It is not a secret that a significant proportion of the Cabinet think they could do a better job of leading the country than the current incumbent. Now would be a good time to demonstrate those leadership qualities.”
This article originally appeared on HuffPost UK and has been updated.