Former UK PM Boris Johnson who resigned only six weeks ago may make a spectacular return to No. 10 Dawning Street following the dramatic resignation of Liz Truss on Thursday.
Johnson has not yet announced his intentions, but political analysts in the UK say that he will most likely be among the candidates for the leadership of the Conservative Party which automatically ensures he will be the next Prime Minister.
On Friday morning, contenders to replace Truss were racing to secure the required support of one hundred MPs to stand in the contest. Although former chancellor Rishi Sunak and Commons leader Penny Mordaunt are both expected to stand, no one has yet launched an official campaign.
The Guardian reports that Johnson’s supporters are calling on him to return from holiday in the Dominican Republic and run again for a second shot at leading the country.
The founder of the ConservativeHome website, Tim Montgomerie, told BBC Radio 4’s Today program on Friday that Johnson could receive as many as 140 nominations to run for the leadership, surpassing the one hundred threshold set by the party.
On Friday, Jacob Rees-Mogg became the first Cabinet minister to publicly back Johnson. The business secretary, a staunch loyalist of the former prime minister, tweeted a graphic that said “I’m Backing Boris” alongside the hashtag “BORISorBUST.”
The former prime minister is still popular with grassroots Tory members, but there is no guarantee that he will reach the tally of one hundred MPs needed to get on the ballot, the Financial Times says.
Tom Pursglove, one of Boris’ supporters in Parliament, said, “Voters had their say in 2019, [and] Boris Johnson won an overwhelming mandate . . . many of our supporters felt let down when he was removed and will arguably feel cheated again if he isn’t on the ballot.”
Although multiple Conservative MPs have expressed their support for a Johnson comeback, he remains a divisive figure, says a report on Sky.
Crispin Blunt, who had called for Truss to resign, said Johnson is “not the character” to lead the Conservative Party at this time but said he could return in the future.
He added that while Johnson is talented, he has one or two weaknesses that make him unsuitable for the current circumstances.
Boris Johnson’s Greek holidays
Johnson had escaped the political chaos over his succession during summer break and was enjoying a vacation in Greece, where he was spotted by locals at a supermarket outside of Athens.
Dressed in a white shirt, blue blazer, and brown trousers, Johnson did his shopping with wife Carrie Symonds and security staff while a driver waited for them outside the store.
The former Conservative leader was friendly with staff and onlookers and greeted the camera with a smile.