He may not yet have had time to produce a Brexit plan but Boris Johnson has at least had a few minutes to visit a highly successful estate agency in his constituency.
He visited Gibbs Gillespie, an 11-branch agency which has a newly-refurbished branch and staff training centre in his Uxbridge constituency: he was accompanied by fellow-Conservative Ray Puddifoot, leader of the local council.
“We were delighted to host Ray and Boris and show them what we do and what steps we’ve taken to invest in our business and our staff. Both were complete gentlemen and very friendly and made time to meet our teams” says agency owner James Gibbs.
“We’ve been in business since 1991 and we see no reason why 2019 shouldn’t be a good year for us and for the local property market. We invested a lot of money in the training centre because we work in a highly competitive industry and need highly skilled teams to continue to deliver fantastic customer service.
“Boris and I discussed stamp duty and we both agreed it is an excessive tax on homes and needs to be reformed. Reducing it will help buyers and sellers and just as importantly boost the broader economy at a time when the economy needs it” says Gibbs.
Johnson - in the news this week for filing in the register of MPs’ interests that he was paid over £51,000 for one speech and almost £23,000 a month for his column in the Daily Telegraph - presumably did not charge when he wrote a supportive message about the agency on one of its training whiteboards.
In a press release about the visit, Johnson is quoted as saying: “It’s great to see a local business doing so well. They have invested in a full refurbishment of their offices and invested heavily in staff development in order to provide great customer service.”
The event happened before controversial comments about ‘Brexiteers without a plan’ were made by European Council president Donald Tusk…otherwise even a public relations firm might have had difficulty keeping Boris’s quote quite so polite.