Could Boris Johnson return as UK Prime Minister after Liz Truss exits?

Boris Johnson supporters are backing the former British Prime Minister in an extraordinary political comeback following the dramatic resignation of Liz Truss.

Just six weeks after he last left the No10 after being pushed out too much by his own MPs following a scandal, allies are urging him to run again for a second shot at the Tory crown.

If he does, he’ll likely find himself up against Rishi Sunak – the former Chancellor accused by Mr Johnson’s supporters of bringing him down – and leader of the House Penny Mordaunt.

Such a move would be very divisive within the Conservative Party, with reports suggesting some MPs could step down from the stick and sit as independents rather than serving under Mr Johnson.

But his supporters argue that he is the only one of the potential candidates for the post of new prime minister to have won a general election and has a mandate from the British public.

To do so, however, he must secure the nominations of 100 of the party’s 357 MPs – a target which some in Westminster believe may be above him.

There was no immediate word from Mr Johnson – who was believed to be holidaying in the Caribbean with his family – about his intentions.

However, die-hard loyalist Nadine Dorries, the former culture secretary, said she spoke to him after Ms Truss resigned and clearly indicated he was preparing to run for office.

“He’s a known winner and that’s certainly the one I’m using my name against because I want us to win the general election. Having a winner is what the party needs to survive,” she told Sky News.

But veteran backbencher Sir Roger Gale, a longtime critic of Mr Johnson, warned that if he succeeds, he could face a wave of Tory MPs resigning.

“I think there would be people like me who would find themselves in the terrible position of having to step down as the Conservative party leader,” he told Times Radio.

Labor leader Sir Keir Starmer, who called for immediate general elections, said the possible return of a man deemed “unfit” by his own MPs “added insult to injury” to voters.

A comeback would be particularly problematic for critics, as Mr Johnson still faces an inquiry from the Commons Privileges Committee over claims he lied to Parliament about lockdown parties at Downing Street, which could potentially see him expelled as an MP.

Alongside Mr Sunak and Ms Mordaunt, some MPs want Defense Secretary Ben Wallace to stand, although he has given no indication that he intends to do so.

Other names in the frame include Suella Braverman, who was forced by Ms Truss to quit as Home Secretary, and International Trade Secretary Kemi Badenoch – who were both in the last competition – although they may struggle to get the nominations.

Under rules laid down by Sir Graham Brady – the 1922 chairman of the Backbench Committee – and party leader Sir Jake Berry, nominations will close at 2pm on Monday.

The first ballOn Monday between 3.30 p.m. and 5.30 p.m. the ts of the deputies will be held – if there are three candidates with the required number of nominations, the loser is eliminated.

Once two candidates remain, an indicative vote is held so party members know which option is preferred among MPs.

Members can take part in an online vote to choose their next leader and the country’s prime minister, with the contest scheduled to close by October 28.

The rules appear to be designed to encourage the runner-up to side for the winner to ensure the new leader has the support of the majority.

But few believe he would do so when it comes to Mr Johnson, who remains hugely popular with ordinary members.

However, Tory grandee Sir Geoffrey Clifton-Brown said it was important for the new leader to get as much support as possible among MPs.

“It’s MPs who have to work with a Prime Minister and I think it’s very, very important that as many MPs as possible are happy with the candidate,” he told BBC2’s Newsnight programme.

Meanwhile, Conservative MP Andrew Mitchell said Tory politicians must stop “creating tribal gangs that support a particular leader so that no matter their ability, they can get a job in cabinet or government”.

Mr Mitchell wrote in The Daily Telegraph: “This unedifying way of conducting politics is detrimental to the affairs of government and indeed to the country.”

Ms Truss’ resignation on Thursday after just 44 days in office marks the end of the shortest term in British history.

Weeks of financial and political turmoil followed after then-Chancellor Kwasi Kwarteng’s disastrous £45billion mini-budget giveaway, which led to a collapse in support for Ms Truss among Tory MPs.

https://www.independent.ie/world-news/europe/britain/could-boris-johnson-return-as-british-prime-minister-after-exit-of-liz-truss-42084274.html Could Boris Johnson return as UK Prime Minister after Liz Truss exits?

Fry Electronics Team

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