Shimon Peres with Boris Johnson, today

Shimon Peres with Boris Johnson, today

Shimon Peres has revealed plans for a groundbreaking London conference exploring innovation in the future.

Leading politicians, scientists and economists from around the globe will be invited to the event, which is believed to have been in the planning for several months. It will be held in April under the name of the Nobel Prize winner, but will not be Israel focused.

“We want to see the whole picture from every angle. It will be a comprehensive look at only one time – the future, no past, no present.”

Put to him that Johnson would be among the attendees, Peres said: “No, not attending. I told him I expect him to be the blowing wind of tomorrow.”

The news emerged during a session at the Peres Centre for Peace, where the former president and the mayor addressed young Israeli leaders of the future, including StandWithUs fellows. 

The mayor said the greatest leaders were those who, despite a popular mandate, were ready to defy their core supporters to do what is right. 

He hailed Churchill for going against some in his own party to take action against the Nazis – saying that without him he feared Britain may have reached an accommodation with Hitler with catastrophic consequences. 

The mayor spoke of his long-term admiration for Peres, saying it seemed “impertinent” to address the subject of leadership while sharing a stage with him. 

He drew laughter by telling the young audience that – despite showers early in the day – the weather in Israel is “peachy”. He added: “It doesn’t rain in London 94 percent of the time.”

Tamir Gofstein , StandWithUs’s regional executive for Tel Aviv and Haifa, said he had heard him speak before, adding “he was really inspirational. I really connected with what he said about leadership.” Describing him as a “unique” character, he added: “I’d love to hear him again.”