Former PM who quit after a series of scandals vows he is ‘up for it’
Boris Johnson has told allies he is “up for” the Tory leadership race and is rushing back to the UK to throw his hat in the ring.
Trade minister Sir James Duddridge, a friend and backer of the ex-prime minister, said Mr Johnson would land back in Britain on Saturday from his Caribbean holiday and would enter the contest to replace Liz Truss.
He said: ”I’ve been in contact with the boss via WhatsApp. He’s going to fly back. He said, ‘I’m flying back, Dudders. We are going to do this. I’m up for it’.”
Sir James said Mr Johnson, who was ousted by his own cabinet following a series of scandals, had “learnt and reflected” during his two months out of office, and knew he needed a No 10 operation that was “slicker”.
He also tweeted: “Labour fear an election against Boris Johnson. All the more reason to #BringBackBoris!”
Meanwhile, Jacob Rees-Mogg has claimed Mr Johnson is the Conservatives’ only realistic chance of uniting the party and stabilising the economy after the market turmoil sparked by Kwasi Kwarteng’s mini-Budget.
The business secretary said Mr Johnson was the only candidate able to convincingly repel pressure for a general election because he had led the party to its landslide win in 2019.