U.K. Prime Minister David Cameron announced his resignation hours after the historic Brexit vote, triggering instant speculation worldwide on his likely replacement. One name keeps popping up: Former London mayor Boris Johnson, sometimes called the "Donald Trump of the U.K."
Is that a fair or even accurate comparison? Jules Suzdaltsev sorts it out in today's Seeker Daily report.
Boris Johnson, also known as BoJo, is a member of the U.K.'s Conservative Party and a right-leaning member of Parliament. He made his political bones as mayor of London from 2008 to 2016, where he earned a reputation as controversial libertarian and kept the tabloids busy with stories of romantic entanglements, financial scandals and a penchant for public spectacle. The zipline incident, for example.
As for the Trump comparisons -- yes, empirically speaking, they're pretty apt. The two populists share significant similarities. Both are relatively liberal on social issues and employ a blunt style of public speaking. Both have been criticized for racist and chauvinistic comments. Both have a fondness for factually inaccurate rhetoric. And we're not even going to mention the hair thing.
RELATED: Why Donald Trump's Ego Will Always Come First
Johnson's vocal support of the Brexit initiative was almost certainly a contributing factor to the referendum's passage, and that gives him political momentum. He had strong public support as London mayor, with an overall 54 percent approval rating by the time he left office. But his popularity has taken a hit since the Brexit vote -- he was recently jeered by an angry crowd when leaving his home.
Factions in his own party are turning against him, too. In the days after the Brexit referendum was decided, a bloc of Conservative Party leaders launched an "Anyone But Boris" campaign. That may sound familiar to Trump watchers, and it represents yet another parallel between the two public figures.
-- Glenn McDonald
BBC: Profile: Boris Johnson
Evening Standard: Boris Johnson 'hasn't got what it takes to be PM,' say 53% in poll
Daily Mail: New prime minister and Tory leader in place by September 2
NPR: London's Popular And Populist Mayor Makes The Case For Leaving The EU