Boris Johnson plots his return as UK PM – media
Former UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson is reportedly plotting his return to power at 10 Downing Street, looking to replace Liz Truss after she resigned just 44 days after becoming his successor.
Several Conservative Party (Tory) lawmakers are already suggesting that Johnson be brought back as prime minister, according to reports on Thursday by the Times of London and other media outlets. Johnson, who is on vacation in the Dominican Republic, is contemplating whether to finish his trip as planned or “fly back and re-enter the political fray,” the Times said, citing unidentified sources.
Truss, who was previously the UK’s hawkish foreign secretary in the Johnson-led government, resigned on Thursday after her taxation and economic initiatives roiled financial markets and caused the British pound to plummet. She became the shortest-serving PM in UK history, breaking a nearly two-century-old record held by George Canning, who died after just 119 days in office.
The Tories plan to select a new leader by the end of next week, fast-tracking a process that took two months following Johnson’s resignation in July. The opposition Labour Party has called for an immediate general election. Britain’s last general election was held in 2019, when Johnson came to power. Given its majority in the House of Commons, the Conservative Party could delay the next general election to as late as January 2025.
The process of choosing a new Conservative Party leader could be completed by as soon as Monday because the Tories reportedly plan to consider only candidates who are nominated by at least 100 members of Parliament. That means there will be three candidates at most. If only one person gets the required number of nominations by Monday, he or she will become PM by default.
Johnson resigned under pressure following a series of scandals, including the Partygate fiasco, in which his office held alcohol-fueled parties at Downing Street and Whitehall during nationwide Covid-19 lockdowns in 2020 and 2021. However, even at the time he agreed to step down, Johnson was already contemplating another run for PM on expectations that his successor would be a “disaster,” the Sunday Times reported in July.
The new PM will inherit a slumping economy, the UK’s highest inflation rate in 40 years and public outrage at the Conservative Party. Truss’ successor will also take the helm amid an energy crisis that has been exacerbated by the UK’s support for Kiev in the Russia-Ukraine conflict.