Boris Johnson supporters back former PM to make sensational return following Truss resignation

Business Secretary Jacob Rees-Mogg became the first Cabinet backer of Mr Johnson for the Tory leadership


Supporters of Boris Johnson are backing the former prime minister to make an extraordinary political comeback following the dramatic resignation of Liz Truss.

Just six weeks after he left No 10 for the final time, forced out by his own MPs, allies are urging him to run again for a second shot at the Tory crown.

If he does, he is likely to find himself up against Rishi Sunak – the former chancellor who is blamed by Mr Johnson’s supporters for bringing him down – and the Leader of the House Penny Mordaunt.

Mr Johnson is yet to confirm whether he will be running in the race to become the next PM but that hasn’t stopped MPs from backing him.

Boris Johnson
Boris Johnson

On Friday morning, Business Secretary Jacob Rees-Mogg became the first Cabinet backer of Mr Johnson for the Tory leadership.

A staunch loyalist of the former prime minister, Mr Rees-Mogg tweeted a graphic that said “I’m Backing Boris” alongside the hashtag “#BORISorBUST”.

It comes after a GB News People’s Poll found that Mr Johnson leads the way to replace Ms Truss as Prime Minister among 2019 Conservative voters and leavers.

The poll asked a total of 1,237 people: “If Liz Truss should be replaced as the leader for the Conservative Party today, who would you like to see as her?”

Results were broken down by gender, age, social grade, region, who they voted from in the 2019 general election and what they voted for during the Brexit Referendum in 2016.

Rishi Sunak currently leads Mr Johnson in the wider country, with 19 percent of voters favouring the former Chancellor compared to 16 percent siding with the ex-PM.

But for those who voted Conservative at the 2019 general election, Mr Johnson is ahead.

Jacob Rees-Mogg
Jacob Rees-Mogg

The poll found that 38 percent of those who voted Tory want the former Prime Minister to replace Ms Truss.

That’s compared to 20 percent of 2019 Conservatives who favour Rishi Sunak and eight percent who want Ms Mordaunt as leader.

Mr Johnson is also ahead when it comes to those who voted Leave in 2016, with 29 percent of them choosing him compared to 20 percent wanting Mr Sunak.

Elsewhere, Scottish Tory MP John Lamont has made the case for Ms Mordaunt to replace Ms Truss as Prime Minister, arguing she would bring together the “strongest” Government.

He tweeted: “I’m backing @PennyMordaunt to stand because she would bring together the strongest government with the best and brightest talents from across the Conservative party”.

Former Cabinet minister Dame Maria Miller also declared her backing, should Ms Mordaunt go for the job, sharing supportive messages with the hashtag #PM4PM.

Ms Mordaunt is not currently working on a leadership bid, though the Cabinet minister is “taking soundings” from colleagues, an ally said.

A source close to the Commons Leader and former contender for the top job said: “It’s a testament to Penny’s campaign over the summer how many colleagues have already come out asking her to stand.

“At the moment there isn’t a campaign but Penny has always been the candidate that can unite the party, deliver and beat Labour.

“At the moment she’s been taking soundings from her colleagues and has been busy speaking to as many as she can.”