Why Boris Johnson has gone on a secret trade mission to northern Iraq

It does, by any stretch of the imagination, seem like a decidedly odd destination for an official trip by the Mayor of London.

But then for a Mayor of London inexplicably keen to burnish his foreign policy credentials it begins to make a bit more sense.

Boris Johnson on Thursday unexpectedly turned up in the Kurdistan region of Iraq with the political editor of The Sun in tow to see the work being done to fight Isis militants in the region.

The Mayor’s officials claimed that Mr Johnson was keen to see at first hand the efforts being made to counter Isis because of the terror threat extremists could pose to the capital.

He was also said to be talking to the Kurdish prime minister Nechirvan Barzani, about boosting trade links.

But the trip will fuel speculation that the real reason for the visit is to promote Mr Johnson’s national political ambitions after he steps down as Mayor after the election.

Sources said Mr Johnson would meet some of the British soldiers training the Kurdish Peshmerga fighters who have been on the frontline in the fight against Isis.

"He wants to see first hand the work being done to keep Isis at bay, the same Isis that wants to send back terrorists who would blow themselves up in London given half a chance," a source said.

More: Um, Boris, we think you forgot something

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