Go back to Boris or die. » Close to former Conservative Prime Minister Boris Johnson, former Secretary of State Nadine Dorries spoke out in an interview with Mail to Sundaand last weekend, what some have been whispering for several weeks: kicked out of Downing Street in September, “BoJo” would be preparing his return to business. The MP for Mid Bedfordshire (East England), who describes her former boss as “political rock star”, is justified without wearing gloves. With the current head of government, Rishi Sunak, the Conservatives “they head towards this long, cold and brutal desert which consists in finding themselves in opposition, an ungrateful opposition”. “The future of Tory MPs is in their own hands and they have one simple question to ask themselves, she concludes. Do they want to remain deputies or not? »
The elected is not the only one who thinks that the 58-year-old former mayor of London could lift a party in disarray, credited with only 26% of voting intentions in the event of parliamentary elections, compared to 47 % of Labor, according to Politico’s website. Former ministers Priti Patel, Mark Spencer and Jake Berry, Lord Cruddas, one of the Conservative party’s biggest donors, and former MEP David Campbell Bannerman are also putting their candidate behind the scenes. The difficulties accumulated by the current tenant of Downing Street, unable to put an end to the historic strikes that have paralyzed the country for several weeks, give them a ready-made argument.
The threat of Nigel Farage’s comeback
But not only: the strong comeback of Nigel Farage, ex-Eurosceptic MP and Brexit singer, whose formation has been stinging the conservatives since the departure of his foal, would also call for a comeback. “Boris Johnson’s rule of thumb is never say never, supports Matthew Goodwin, Professor of Political Science at the University of Kent. Especially when the Conservative Party is going through both an electoral and a philosophical crisis. » A poll by People Polling for GB News, published at the end of December, described him as “the most competent Prime Minister of 2022”, ahead of his successors Liz Truss and Rishi Sunak…
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According to the British press, a window of opportunity could appear in local elections in May, where mayors and county leaders will be appointed. With the legislative elections of 2024 in sight. “It could be a good time if, as people expect, the Tories suffer a heavy defeat, confirms Tim Bale, professor of political science at Queen Mary University of London. MPs believe that Boris Johnson is a winning machine and that the party should never have got rid of him, a view perhaps even more widespread among the party’s grassroots, but also among some donors, newspaper owners and executives in the right. »
Towards a trip to Kyiv to meet Zelensky
While waiting for his moment, the former prime minister – still a member of the House of Commons – multiplies the lucrative conferences. Since his resignation, he has received more than 1 million euros for speeches given to bankers in New York or at a summit organized by CNN in Portugal, according to an official record of declarations of interest by parliamentarians. Not forgetting the million euros earmarked by a British businessman for his new company, The Office of Boris Johnson, undoubtedly to revive… “He’s also writing his promised book on Shakespeare”, adds Sunder Katwala, director of think tank British Future.
BoJo also doesn’t forget to take care of his address book. Invitation on Tuesday to speak in front of the Carlton Club, temple of English conservatism, trip to Ukraine planned in the coming months to meet with President Volodymyr Zelensky… An attractive agenda that probably won’t be enough to sway his detractors. “Their support base hasn’t really changed, analyzed this week by the conservative weekly the spectator. The MPs he needs to win are the ones who didn’t support him last time. »
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Above all, Boris Johnson will appear publicly in a few weeks before a parliamentary committee whose investigation could lead to his suspension as an MP, or even his expulsion from the House of Commons, if he lied affirming before the assembly, in December 2021, that ” the rules [du confinement] they have always been respected”. A new witness, broadcast this week by the ITV channel, further contradicts the version that he was unaware of the illegal parties organized in Downing Street during the anti-Covid restrictions. “The other inquiry into his handling of the pandemic, if disastrous, could also end his career, analyzes Chris Hopkins, director of the consultancy Savanta ComRes. But if he doesn’t do too badly, the return hypothesis could be maintained. » The art of getting back on your feet.
Source : Le JDD