boris johnson he flew back to London on Saturday morning, perhaps hoping that his arrival at Gatwick Airport would mark the beginning of a triumphant return to 10 Downing Street.
Johnson, who was ousted as prime minister in July over a series of scandals, came to the UK from his Caribbean vacation with the intention of joining the race to replace Liz Truss as prime minister, Britain’s PA Media news agency quoted the allies as saying.
Johnson told UK Trade Minister James Duddridge that he was “ready to do it,” PA reported. He indicated that he will participate in the leadership contest even though he is still under parliamentary investigation over allegations that he lied to lawmakers.
truss resigned on Thursday, just six weeks into his disastrous term that plunged Britain into deep political and economic turmoil. His successor will be the fifth prime minister to lead the country since he voted for Brexit in 2016.
Former Home Secretary Priti Patel on Saturday became one of Johnson’s most high-profile supporters in his quest to become prime minister. “Boris has a mandate to deliver our chosen manifesto and a proven track record of getting the big decisions right,” she said in a tweet.
But his The possible return to the top job has divided opinion within the Conservative Party, with many lawmakers horrified at the prospect of a second Johnson premiership.
Even his former deputy prime minister and foreign secretary, Dominic Raab, told the BBC “we can’t go back” and noted that Johnson faces an investigation into the so-called partygate scandal over illegal gatherings in Downing Street.
The former prime minister is expected to appear in the coming weeks before the Commons Privileges Committee, which is investigating whether he misled Parliament on parties, which could lead to his suspension or expulsion as an MP.
Graham Brady, leader of the 1922 Committee, which represents rank-and-file Conservative members of parliament, said the new prime minister would be chosen next Friday. He said candidates to replace Truss would need at least 100 nominations from party MPs by 2pm local time on Monday. The threshold effectively reduces the field of possible candidates to a maximum of three.
If only one candidate reaches that threshold, they will automatically become a leader. Otherwise, online voting for party members will close on Friday, October 28.
If he can get the required number of followers, Johnson will join former Chancellor of the Exchequer Rishi Sunak, who has already reached the threshold, Britain’s PA Media news agency reported on Friday.
Sunak, who lost to Truss during the final round of the previous leadership race, has yet to formally declare his candidacy. CNN has reached out to Sunak’s representatives for comment.
Penny Mordaunt, Leader of the House of Commons, has also thrown her name into the ring. Mordaunt was ranked third in the last leadership pick, just behind Truss and Sunak.
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