BORIS Johnson wants to be in power for another 10 years and to beat Margaret Thatcher's tenure in Downing Street, it has emerged.

Reports today say that the Prime Minister plans to lead the Tories at the 2024 general election and to be returned to Number 10 for a further term.

Setting out his pitch for the first time, he said voters would be able to see his “great, great project” of levelling up making progress across Britain. “It’s going to take a while, it’s going to take ten years,” he said.

But the SNP said Scots would be "horrified" at the prospect of another ten years of a Johnson Conservative government.

“People in Scotland will be horrified that Boris Johnson wants to stay in power for another decade, leading the most corrupt and broken UK government in recent times.

“Yet again, Scotland is faced with being saddled with more years of Tory governments we didn't vote for," said the party's Westminster leader Ian Blackford.

“Boris Johnson's damaging choices have already inflicted long-term harm on Scotland - with a hard Tory Brexit that has cost us billions, Universal Credit cuts that will slash the incomes of families, a regressive tax hike that will punish the low paid, and attacks on devolution."

He added: "We know the past Westminster has imposed, and we now know the future it will inflict. It's clear that Scotland is vulnerable under Westminster control - but we can chart a different course to a better future, rather than being dragged further down the wrong road.

“The only way to keep Scotland safe from the long-term damage of Tory cuts, and ten more years of Boris Johnson, is to become an independent country - with the full powers needed to secure a strong, equal and green recovery.”

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It is also reported that Johnson wants to make Brexit a key focus in the next general election in a bid to maintain support in the former 'red wall' Labour constituencies that backed leaving the EU.

Despite a series of economists' forecasts which indicate Brexit is making the UK substantially poorer, the Tories insist the policy will make the UK more prosperous and lead to narrower inequalities by "levelling up" people in the poorer parts of the north of England with the more affluent south.

Cabinet ministers say that Johnson wants to outlast Thatcher’s modern record of 11 years in power. He views this week’s announcement of a rise in national insurance to fund the NHS and social care as a critical part of his legacy.

“Boris will want to go on and on,” a cabinet minister told The Times. “The stuff Dom [Cummings] was saying about him going off into the sunset [to make money] was nonsense. He’s very competitive. He wants to go on for longer than Thatcher.”

In an interview in May for Broken Heartlands, a book by the journalist Sebastian Payne detailing how the Tories won red wall seats in the 2019 general election, Johnson said that relying on London and the southeast for the bulk of Britain’s growth and prosperity in recent years had been “stupid”. 

He said that giving priority to investment in the north and Midlands would benefit Tory voters in the south as well.

“The level-up agenda is right for the seats in the south,” he said. 

“If you’re a liberal, relatively affluent, One Nation Conservative, do you think your long-term prosperity is going to be more effectively secured by building a country where people across the whole of the UK feel happier, more involved, with better life chances? 

"Or do you think it’s going to be better if you just continue with the approach of the last 40 years?”

He added: “The Treasury has made a catastrophic mistake in the last 40 years in thinking that you can just hope that the whole of the UK is somehow going to benefit from London and the southeast. There is potential for everyone, but there isn’t the same opportunity.”

Johnson, who rejected criticism that levelling up was a meaningless slogan, said voters “intuitively” understood that there was a “huge” attainment gap between different parts of the country.

The Prime Minister, who took office in 2019, warned about the prospects of a Labour government, claiming that freeports, the Covid-19 vaccine scheme, and “scuppering” plans for a European Super League were all benefits of Brexit.

A Times poll indicated on Thursday that support for the Tories had fallen to its lowest level since 2019, with six in ten voters saying the party no longer cared about low taxation.