Economy

Boris Johnson is back in Britain to make a quick political comeback. By Stocksak


© Stocksak. FILE PHOTO – Outgoing British Prime Minister Boris Johnson gives a speech outside Downing Street in London, Britain, September 6, 2022. REUTERS/Toby Melville/File photo

By Andrew MacAskill, Muvija M

LONDON (Stocksak), Boris Johnson returned to Britain on Saturday to make an ambitious bid to win a second term in the role of prime minister. This comes just weeks after he was forced from office. Some colleagues warned that his return could lead to more political chaos.

Potential candidates for replacing Prime Minister Liz Truss abruptly resigned on Thursday after six weeks of being in power. They were now on a hectic weekend of lobbying to get enough nominations to be eligible to enter Monday’s leadership contest.

Johnson, who was in the Caribbean on vacation when Truss resigned from his job, has not spoken publicly about a bid for his former job. He has the support and endorsement of dozens Conservative lawmakers, but must still secure 100 nominations for consideration.

The trade minister James Duddridge said on Friday Johnson had told him he was “up for it”.

According to Sky News, Johnson was booed on board the plane to Britain by some passengers. The flight arrived in London at 7:15 AM on Saturday morning.

Johnson, wearing a dark jacket with a backpack, waved at photographers at London’s Gatwick Airport before driving off.

It would be an extraordinary political resurrection for the former journalist and ex-Mayor of London, who left Downing Street shrouded in scandal but grumbling that his colleagues “changed the rules halfway through” a race – a swipe at the Conservative lawmakers who did not allow him to serve a full term.

Penny Mordaunt was the former defence minister and became the first candidate who officially declared her intention to run for the Conservative Party’s leadership. Rishi Sunak, his former finance minister, led potential candidates before next week’s voting.

Sunak, who was second to Truss in previous leadership contests, has yet to officially declare his candidacy. He did not speak with reporters as he left his London home on Saturday.

The possibility of Johnson returning to government is a polarizing issue for many in Conservative Party, which has seen off four prime ministers over the past six years.

Johnson is a vote-winner among Conservative lawmakers. He appeals to the country with his celebrity but also his energetic optimism.

For some, he is a toxic character. The question is how he can convince the dozens and dozens of legislators who abandoned him that they are now the ones who can unite and turn the party’s fortunes around.

“DEATH SPIRAL”

Priti Patel, ex-interior minister, announced her support for her former boss Saturday, saying that he had “the mandate and a proven track record of getting the big decisions right”

Andrew Bridgen, her colleague, said he would be open to resigning from parliamentary group if Johnson returned and warned the Conservatives not to create a “personality-cult” around Johnson. Dominic Raab, who was a foreign minister under Johnson said that the party would be “backwards” if Johnson returned.

William Hague, a former Conservative leader, said that Johnson’s return was the worst idea he’d heard in nearly 50 years as a member of the party. He claimed it would create a “death spiral” for the Conservatives.

Johnson is likely to face Sunak if Johnson can secure enough nominations to be elected to the Senate. Sunak quit his post as finance minister in July after claiming that Johnson was unable take tough decisions.

Media reports claim that Sunak is the first candidate for the leadership to surpass 100 nominations before Monday’s deadline.

Johnson, who currently holds about half of the required support, is currently being investigated by parliament’s Privileges Committee in order to determine whether he lied before the House of Commons regarding lockdown-breaking party members. Ministers who are found to have knowingly misled Parliament are expected to resign.

The week-long race to become Britain’s fourth prime minister in just four years has been expedited to only one week. According to the rules, only three candidates will reach Monday’s first ballot of lawmakers. The final two will be put to a vote among party members to determine a result by Friday.

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