Last night, rumors of a potential Boris Johnson return were growing.
The greatest candidate to succeed Liz Truss is Mr. Johnson, who barely left government six weeks ago, according to more than a dozen Tory MPs and Lords.
He is said to be getting advice from pals, but he also believes he can change the course of the Tory party and the nation.
Mr. Johnson, who is now on vacation in the Caribbean but was considering ending it early to fly back to London yesterday night, thinks it is in the “national interest.”
One of his allies claims that he is buoyed by early signs of support from MPs, and several of the ministers who drove him out are reportedly quietly pleading with him to come back. The insider said, “If he thinks he can win the race, he probably will run.”
Mr. Johnson was ‘itching to take the battle to Keir Starmer,’ a close political associate of the former prime minister told the Daily Mail last night.
They praised Mr. Johnson as the only probable candidate with a clear mandate from people as well as a “proven election winner” and “excellent campaigner.” According to the ally, he was “the only option” if the Tory party was “serious about power.”
His supporters among Conservative MPs believe that he is the only viable contender with a mandate to rule after obtaining a large Commons majority in 2019 and that this would reduce demands from Labour for a new General Election.
According to a YouGov survey conducted earlier this week, the majority of Tory party members preferred Miss Truss’ resignation to Mr. Johnson receiving the keys to No. 10.
Because of the Commons privileges committee’s investigation into Partygate, many MPs are opposed to his making a return. He is being investigated to see whether he intentionally deceived Parliament about Downing Street parties during the Covid-19 epidemic. If found guilty, he might lose his seat in parliament, which could throw the Tories into further more uncertainty.
Mr. Johnson could organize a Commons vote on a resolution to halt the investigation if he were to win the leadership. The danger would vanish if he defeated this by whipping Tory MPs. Candidates, however, may only be on the voting paper if they get support from 100 MPs, according to the leadership election regulations.
A number of MPs expressed their doubt that Mr. Johnson would achieve the required number, with one stating that the “brutal fact” is that he is most likely to get no more than 60.
It indicated that some close friends were advising Mr. Johnson not to run. Stephen McPartland, a former minister and Stevenage MP, was one among those advocating for the former prime minister to make a return.
“My email is full with individuals pleading for us to bring Boris back,” he remarked.
“I’m not sure he’s made any choices, but they’re asking and I’m passing along their demands to bring Boris back,” I said.
Romford’s MP Andrew Rosindell declared his support for Mr. Johnson as well. Paul Bristow, a fellow Conservative, said: “We need an election winner and we have an election winner. As far as I’m concerned, I will listen to my people, and their message was “bring back Boris.”
To be clear: He may not be MPs’ first choice (I might be wrong), but he most definitely is among the membership, said Michael Fabricant in a tweet.
He was resoundingly chosen by the nation, making him the sole MP with legitimacy. Calls for a general election will increase without him. I hope you enjoyed your vacation boss, said Rochford and Southend East Tory MP James Duddridge on Twitter. It’s time to return. There aren’t many problems at work that require fixing. #BringBackBoris.’
One of Mr. Johnson’s staunchest supporters, Nadine Dorries, said on Twitter yesterday: “One person was chosen by the British people with a manifesto and a mandate until January 2025… MPs must demand Boris Johnson’s return.
By tweeting: “During the previous leadership campaign [this summer], as party chairman, I got innumerable letters from Conservative members wanting Boris on the ballot,” former party chairman Andrew Stephenson also seemed to support Mr. Johnson. That was not constitutionally possible. It isn’t now.
However, one former cabinet minister said that the Tories needed to regain voters’ trust, thus it would be inappropriate for Mr. Johnson to return as prime minister and then try to halt the privileges committee investigation. The senior MP compared it to the catastrophic effort by Mr. Johnson’s government to spare one of his colleagues penalties for lobbying a year before, saying, “It would be like a re-run of Owen Paterson.”
John Baron said that working as a Tory MP for Mr. Johnson would be “impossible.” He told the BBC that he thinks “more than a handful” backbenchers would renounce the party whip.
Another opponent, Sir Roger Gale, stated: “We need to keep in mind that Mr. Johnson is currently being looked into by the privileges committee for perhaps deceiving the House. There should be no chance for him to return to the government until that inquiry is over and he is either proven guilty or not. David Davis, a former Cabinet minister, told LBC that he wasn’t convinced Mr. Johnson would have enough support from MPs to run, and that his suggestion to the former prime minister on vacation would be to “get back to the beach.”
After losing the support of his fellow lawmakers and Cabinet ministers, Mr. Johnson, the MP for Uxbridge and South Ruislip, was compelled to quit in July.
Following a string of issues, including being penalized by Scotland Yard for breaking the lockdown regulations in Downing Street during the epidemic, it was announced.
But things reached a boiling point when Chris Pincher, his deputy chief whip, was charged with grabbing two men at the Carlton Club in London while ‘very inebriated.
Later, Mr. Johnson acknowledged being aware of other accusations of sexual misbehavior against Mr. Pincher. Rishi Sunak, the chancellor, as well as other ministers, resigned in response to it.