Boris Johnson was flying back to Britain as he considers an audacious attempt to win a second term as prime minister solely weeks after he was compelled to step down, with some colleagues warning his comeback might create extra political chaos.
The potential candidates to change Prime Minister Liz Truss, who dramatically stop on Thursday after solely six weeks in energy, had been embarking on a frantic weekend of lobbying to safe sufficient nominations to enter the management contest earlier than Monday’s deadline.
Johnson, who was on vacation within the Caribbean when Truss resigned and has mentioned nothing publicly a couple of bid for his outdated job, has acquired the help of dozens of Conservative lawmakers however wants to safe 100 nominations to be thought-about.
Trade Minister James Duddridge mentioned on Friday Johnson had advised him he was “up for it.”
Johnson was booed by some passengers on the aircraft to Britain, in accordance to a Sky News reporter on the flight, which is predicted to arrive in London on Saturday morning.
It could be a unprecedented political resurrection for the previous journalist and mayor of London, who left workplace shrouded in scandal however grumbling that his colleagues “modified the principles midway via” a race — a swipe at the Conservative lawmakers who didn’t enable him to serve a full term.
Former defence minister Penny Mordaunt turned the primary candidate to formally declare an intention to run to be the subsequent chief of the Conservative Party, however Johnson and Rishi Sunak, as soon as his finance minister, led potential contenders forward of voting subsequent week.
The prospect of the return of Johnson to authorities is a polarizing concern for a lot of within the Conservative Party, which is deeply divided after seeing off 4 prime ministers in six years.
For some Conservative lawmakers, Johnson is a vote winner, in a position to enchantment throughout the nation not solely together with his celeb but in addition together with his model of energetic optimism.
For others, Johnson is a toxic determine and the query is whether or not he can persuade the handfuls of lawmakers who deserted him that he is now the one who can unite the occasion and switch round its flagging fortunes.
Conservative lawmaker Andrew Stephenson mentioned on Saturday Johnson is a “tried and examined prime minister” who delivered Brexit, was in a position to boast of a quick COVID-19 vaccine roll-out, and was among the many most vocal supporters of Ukraine.
But his colleague Andrew Bridgen mentioned he would think about resigning from the parliamentary group if Johnson returns and warned the Conservatives in opposition to creating a “character cult” across the former prime minister. Dominic Raab, a international minister below Johnson, mentioned the occasion risked going “backwards” if he returned.
The former Conservative chief William Hague mentioned on Friday Johnson’s return was presumably the worst thought he had heard in nearly half a century as a celebration member. He mentioned it might lead to a “dying spiral” for the Conservatives.
If Johnson can safe the required variety of nominations, he is probably going to go head-to-head with Sunak, who stop as his finance minister in July, claiming that his former boss was unable to take powerful selections.
Sunak is the primary management candidate to hit the edge of 100 nominations to enter the competition earlier than Monday’s deadline, in accordance to media studies. Johnson at present has about half that help.
Johnson is at present below investigation by Parliament’s privileges committee to set up whether or not he lied to the House of Commons over lockdown-breaking events. If ministers are discovered to have knowingly misled Parliament, they’re anticipated to resign.
The contest to develop into Britain’s fourth prime minister in 4 years has been accelerated to take solely per week. Under the principles, solely three candidates will likely be in a position to attain the primary poll of lawmakers on Monday afternoon, with the ultimate two put to a vote of occasion members for a outcome by subsequent Friday.