Despite losing votes in both Wakefield and Tiverton and Honiton this week, Mr Johnson said during a trip to Rwanda this weekend that he is thinking about fighting the next two general elections to become the longest-serving post-war leader.
Asked at the G7 summit in Germany this morning if his aspirations are delusional, Mr Johnson said: “What I’m saying is this is a Government that is getting on with delivering for the people of this country and we’ve got a huge amount to do.”
He said the “golden rule” is to “focus on what we are doing” – to address the cost of living, the “massive” plan for a stronger economy, and “making sure that the UK continues to offer the kind of leadership around the world that I know our people want”.
Cabinet minister Brandon Lewis said the PM’s desire to look “long-term” when it comes to his leadership “has got to be a good thing”.
The Northern Ireland Secretary said he sees in Mr Johnson “drive and enthusiasm for what we want to achieve for our country”, and that kind of “zest” is to be celebrated.
He told Sky’s Sophy Ridge on Sunday programme: “We often get criticised in politics when we look short-term, at just the next day, the next election, the next vote.
“Actually we’ve got somebody as Prime Minister who wants to be looking long-term at how we structurally improve our country for generations to come. That has got to be a good thing.”
Following Thursday's by-elections, former Conservative leader Michael Howard called on the Prime Minister to step aside.
He told the BBC on Friday: “The party and more importantly the country would be better off under new leadership.
"Members of the Cabinet should very carefully consider their positions. It may be necessary for the executive of the 1922 Committee to meet and to decide to change the rules so another leadership could take place.”