Boris Johnson says next James Bond ‘got to be a man’

Boris Johnson has weighed in on the big debate over who might replace Daniel Craig as the next James Bond.

The prime minister did not offer any suggestions on which star should get the sought-after role – but insisted it has “got to be” a man.

“I think it will be up to whoever is the next James Bond is to identify him or herself,” he told The Times – before adding: “I think it’s got to be a man, frankly. That’s my view.”

Cabinet minister Michael Gove has also said the next Bond should be a man, ridiculing Sir Keir Starmer’s suggestion that a woman takes over as 007.

The Labour leader said last week: “I don’t have a favourite Bond, but I do think it is time for a female Bond.”

Gove picked out Line of Duty actor Stephen Graham as his tip to take over as 007. “James Bond’s a man,” the minister told The Sun. “We don’t need a female Bond – it’s time for a Scouse Bond, though.”

Speculation over Craig’s replacement has been rife ever since the star confirmed he would bow out of the spy franchise after his fifth film, No Time to Die, which has been released to critical acclaim.

Tom Hardy has been named bookmaker William Hill’s favourite to play the British spy. Suranne Jones is one of the favourites to star as the first female Bond, with the same bookmaker offering up odds of 9/1.

Producer Barbara Broccoli has repeatedly nixed the idea of a female Bond, saying she believes women should be offered interesting and diverse roles of their own, and that Bond will “always be male”.

Meanwhile, Mr Johnson refused to say whether he thinks use of the grace-and-favour country house of Chevening should go to his new foreign secretary Liz Truss or justice secretary Dominic Raab.

Reports have claimed that Mr Raab is refusing to hand it over access to the mansion in Kent – arguing that his new title of deputy prime minister entitles him to hold on to it.

“The people’s government does not deal with fripperies,” the prime minister told The Times when asked about the row.

Speaking on the eve of the Conservative Party conference in Manchester, Mr Johnson managed to spark outrage by saying “never mind” about cancer death rates and the recent fall in life expectancy.

Grilled about his plans for Britain’s recovery from the Covid crisis, Mr Johnson chose to emphasis economic growth over health measures.

Pointing to the recent growth in wages, he told the BBC: “I’ve given you the most important metric – never mind life expectancy, never mind cancer outcomes – look at wage growth.”

Labour pounced on the remarks – accusing the PM of showing an “outrageous” disregard for the health of British citizens.

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