Boris Johnson could make a ‘Churchillian comeback’ to politics

Nadine Dorries and Emily Sheffield clash over Boris Johnson

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Former Prime Minister Boris Johnson could be prepared to make a “Churchillian comeback” to Downing Street in spite of not pursuing the top job for the second time, with Rishi Sunak being appointed the new PM.

Mr Wootton asked the question “Many Tory MPs were gutted about the former PM’s choice to withdraw from the race, and he is a proven election winner of course. So could he make a Churchillian come back to number ten?”

Mr Wootton spoke to biographer Mr Gimson and said: “Andrew, you’ve known Boris for more than 30 years…do you think his frontline political career is over?”

Mr Gimson replied: “Almost certainly not, anyone less likely to walk away and to live out his days quietly somewhere in the deep in the heart of the British countryside…is Boris Johnson.

“It’s just unimaginable. What he’s just shown is his absolute intense desire to come back. 

“He’s obviously got to stand aside and got to give Rishi Sunak and everyone a fair crack at it, but Boris rescued the Tories…if the Tories need rescuing again, then Boris may get another chance.”

Mr Wootton said: “It’s true isn’t it, that he absolutely wants to emulate Winston Churchill? He loves the idea of this comeback.”

The GB News presenter added: “Of course, Churchill had to wait many years, do you think Boris is prepared to wait that long? And do you think he would be prepared to be leader of the opposition, or will he try and mount a comeback if Sunak doesn’t improve the poll ratings before the next election?”

Mr Gimson said: “One of his gifts as a journalist, as well as a politician, is…Boris sees opportunity absolutely in a split second and will then go for it. If it involves being leader of the opposition, he’ll do that. 

“The comparison with Churchill is interesting, but actually, he’s more like Benjamin Disraeli…who also had to keep going and had one brief go at being prime minister and then did come back for a second longer stint. 

“Most politicians…become incredibly boring. Boris’s use of language, his ability to transform the atmosphere…he hasn’t lost that.

“He’s not that old either, he can go off and make a great deal of money, give speeches…and of course be ready to be called.”

On Sunday, Mr Johnson announced he would not put his name forward in the Conservative leadership election, saying it was “not the right thing to do”. 

He said: “You can’t govern effectively unless you have a united party in Parliament.”

Some politicians believed the former prime minister made the right decision, as Tory MP Andrew Bowie said: “I think what Boris did yesterday was definitely in the national interest.”

He added: “The last thing we need is another prolonged battle for the heart and soul of the Conservative party.”

First Minister of Scotland Nicola Sturgeon said she was relieved that the “ridiculous notion” of his return was “knocked on the head”.

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After Rishi Sunak became Prime Minister, Mr Johnson urged the Conservative party to give the new leader “their full and wholehearted support” after congratulating the new party leader on Twitter.

Mr Sunak also paid tribute to the former Prime Minister in his first speech since being elected, saying he would “always be grateful” for Mr Johnson’s “incredible achievements” in Downing Street.

He added: “I treasure his warmth and generosity of spirit.”

The new leader pledged to deliver on the Conservative 2019 manifesto on which Mr Johnson was elected as Prime Minister.

He said: “I know [Boris Johnson] would agree that the mandate my party earned in 2019 is not the sole property of any one individual, it is a mandate that belongs to and unites all of us.”

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