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Friday, 19 July 2024
Boris Johnson tipped for comeback after Liz Truss resigns
UK PM Boris Johnson at the House of Commons - Credit: House of Commons Twitter account

After Liz Truss resigned as British Prime Minister on Thursday (October 20), Business Secretary Jacob Rees-Mogg encouraged colleagues in Parliament to nominate Mr Johnson, and tweeted his support earlier alongside the hashtag "Boris or bust".

Ms Truss resigned on Thursday (Oct 20) just six weeks into the job, making her tumultuous premiership the shortest in British history.

If Mr Johnson did make a comeback it would be unprecedented in British political history, coming a matter of weeks after being forced out by his own MPs after a string of scandals, the BBC said.

Polling suggests he remains popular with Tory members. Allies of Boris Johnson urged him to mount a stunning political comeback on Thursday after the dramatic resignation of UK Prime Minister Liz Truss.

“He's a winner and the only MP with legitimacy having been overwhelmingly elected by the country,” said one Johnson loyalist, Michael Fabricant.

Britain's Labour Party leader, Keir Starmer speaks during a session in Parliament, in London, Britain. © Reuters / Jessica Taylor

“He may not be the first choice of MPs — I may be wrong — but he most certainly is amongst the membership.”

Another MP, Stephen McPartland, said his inbox was “inundated with local people saying we must bring back Boris”.

But another tilt at the leadership could prove divisive among Tory MPs, some of whom have said they would quit politics if he came back.

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Sir Robert Syms said Mr Johnson was “not a serious candidate”, while Justin Tomlinson said a comeback was “wishful thinking”.

“I just think it’s too soon. I was there supporting him to the very end but he did lose the confidence of the majority of our colleagues,” Mr Tomlinson told Sky News.

Mr Johnson has been on holiday in the Caribbean. His father Stanley told ITV he understood his son was on a plane back to the UK, but would not be drawn on whether he was cutting his holiday short, or whether he would be standing.

Opposition parties are calling for a general election to decide who should be the next prime minister.

Liz Truss resigns as PM, successor to be elected next week

Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer said if Mr Johnson returned to No 10, that would be the "most powerful argument" for another poll.

Labour has been way ahead of the Conservatives in recent opinion polls.

"I remind myself that only three months ago Boris Johnson left office because most of those who were serving him on his front bench had declared that he was unfit for office," he said.

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The next general election is not due to take place until at least 2024 and, at this stage, it looks unlikely that date will be brought forward.

Boris Johnson’s premiership was dogged by scandals, most notably the Partygate affair, which saw him fined by police for breaking Covid-19 lockdown restrictions.

The relentless distractions wore down the patience of MPs, the public and ultimately his own ministers, who forced him out by resigning en masse in July.

He announced his resignation after conceding that he no longer had the confidence of the Tory benches.