Boris Johnson is expected to run in the Tory leadership race to replace Liz Truss as Prime Minister
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Boris Johnson is reportedly expected to stand in the next Tory leadership contest after Liz Truss resigned as Prime Minister. Boris Johnson stepped down as PM on September 6, following a premiership filled with scandal and U-turns, and was replaced by Liz Truss as leader of the Conservative party for 44 days.
Rishi Sunak is the current favourite to take over as leader and prime minister while Boris Johnson, has also not been ruled out of making a comeback. Chancellor of the Exchequer and two time party leader candidate, Jeremy Hunt, has already ruled himself out of standing.
According to The Times, Johnson is “taking soundings but is said to believe it is a matter of national interest”. When stepping down from office last month, Johnson did hint at a future return to the front benches with a reference to the story of Cincinnatus - an old Roman politician and statesman who was in retirement, living life as a farmer.
However, when Rome was threatened with invasion, he took up power of the republic and single-handedly defeated the enemy. He then relinquished power, returning to his farm.
Political commentators at the time speculated this reference could have been a veiled hint at an intent to return to front-bench politics at some point in the future, perhaps even the office of Prime Minister. Nadine Dorries, one of Boris Johnson’s loudest supporters called for his return in response to reports that senior Tory MPs were plotting to install a “unity candidate” and bypass a Tory leadership contest.
Dorries tweeted: "One person was elected by the British public with a manifesto and a mandate until January 25, If Liz Truss is no longer PM there can be no coronation of previously failed candidates. MPs must demand the return of Boris Johnson – if not it has to be a leadership election or a general election."
The race to be the next leader of the Conservative party and prime minister will be completed by Friday October 28, 2022 confirmed 1922 Committee Chair, Sir. Graham Brady. It is expected the ballot will be open to the parliamentary party i.e. Conservative MPs. Mr. Brady said Conservative party members “would be consulted” but he did not say how.
Is Boris Johnson allowed to run for Prime Minister?
There are no rules that would prohibit Johnson from being Prime Minister again, even so soon after his first stint ended. Johnson is also very much a popular figure among Tory voters - with a strong celebrity status among floating and centre-right voters - despite losing the trust of other groups of voters.
However, Johnson is still tied up in the ongoing Commons investigation into the Partygate scandal, and Labour have started a strong campaign for a general election to be called, which may hurt his chances.
Why did Liz Truss resign?
Truss’ premiership saw many problems but she never managed to recover from the catastrophic ‘mini budget’ set out by her former Chancellor of the Exchequer Kwasi Kwarteng.
Truss’ cabinet became known for making U-turns on key decisions throughout her 44 days of Prime Minister. While, the cabinet branded it as ‘We get it. We listened’ the issues kept coming with Conservative supporters quickly calling for her resignation.
Liz Truss full statement
Speaking outside No. 10 Downing Street shortly after 1.30pm on Thursday, Ms. Truss said she had informed King Charles III of her decision to stand down. It brings an end to her six week spell as prime minister during which she lost the confidence of MPs, party members, the wider public and her fiscal policies spooked financial markets.
“This morning I met the chairman of the 1922 Committee, Sir Graham Brady. We’ve agreed that there will be a leadership election to be completed within the next week.
“This will ensure that we remain on a path to deliver our fiscal plan and maintain our country’s economic stability and national security. I will remain as Prime Minister until a successor has been chosen. Thank you,” she said.