Boris Johnson 'poised to miss' Conservative Party conference once successor confirmed

Boris Johnson is reportedly set to skip the Conservative Party conference in October, after he leaves Downing Street

Published

Mr Johnson is set to follow in the footsteps of David Cameron and Theresa May if he does decide to avoid the conference in Birmingham.

The Prime Minister will be replaced as Conservative Party leader on Monday, as the winner of the Tory leadership race is confirmed.

Liz Truss and Rishi Sunak have battled it out for months, in an often-tense race for No.10.

But the winner is unlikely to see Mr Johnson at conference, according to reports in The Telegraph.

The outgoing PM is likely to have plenty of lucrative opportunities to hand over the coming weeks and months.

Boris Johnson
Boris Johnson
Rishi Sunak and Liz Truss
Rishi Sunak and Liz Truss

Newspaper reports have been full of speculation about whether the former Telegraph columnist will return to journalism, or if the former boss at The Spectator magazine might even be offered an editorship somewhere.

There is also the possibility of the lucrative after-dinner speaking circuit, a well-worn route for former prime ministers.

Lord Marland, a former trade envoy, said Mr Johnson wants to “go and put hay in the loft” after he leaves office.

He said: “As he said to me the other day, he wants to go and put hay in the loft, in other words to build up his bank balance so that he can afford to pay for the lifestyle that he has created."

Much depends on whether Mr Johnson sees his future in the Commons.

He is far from certain to stave off a Labour challenge in his Uxbridge and South Ruislip constituency at the next election, while the Privileges Committee is going ahead with its inquiry into whether he committed a contempt of Parliament by telling the House on several occasions that there were no lockdown-busting parties in Downing Street.

If he is found to have lied to Parliament, Mr Johnson could face a suspension from the Commons for 10 or more sitting days and a recall petition, which, if signed by 10 percent of his constituents, would trigger a by-election.

Whether to fight to remain in politics or not will depend on whether Mr Johnson still harbours ambitions to return to No 10.

In his final appearance at Prime Minister’s Questions, he famously declared “Hasta la vista, baby.”

The Spanish term translates as “see you later”, but it is also a catchphrase of Arnold Schwarzenegger’s character in Terminator 2: Judgment Day.

The Terminator is also known for the catchphrase: “I’ll be back.”

Rory Stewart, who ran against Mr Johnson for the Tory leadership in 2019, likened him to former Italian premier Silvio Berlusconi and ex-US president Donald Trump, who are plotting comebacks.

The former international development minister said last month: “I’m afraid he has an extraordinary ego and he believes that he was badly treated.

“He doesn’t see the reality, which is that he was a terrible prime minister and that he lost his job because of deep flaws of character.

“And yes, I fear we’re going to end up with a second Berlusconi or a second Trump trying to rock back in again.”