Boris 'DID have enough support to run to become PM again'

Boris 'DID have enough support to run to become PM again'

Boris Johnson DID have enough support to enter the race to become Tory leader and prime minister for a second time before pulling out says backbench chief Graham Brady

  • Sir Graham confirmed ex-prime minister’s claim to have met 100-MP threshold
  • Mr Johnson flew home from Caribbean to make unlikely attempt to regain power 
  •  But at the 11th hour he decided not to enter the ballot for the good of party unity
  • Sir Graham said ‘two candidates’ had reached the threshold last month.
  • Told BBC ‘one of them decided not to then submit his nomination’

Boris Johnson did have enough backing from Tory MPs to launch a second bid for power against Rishi Sunak, the party’s backbench kingpin has revealed.

Sir Graham Brady confirmed the former prime minister’s claim he dropped out despite having enough MPs’ backing to mount a challenge.

Mr Johnson flew home from a Caribbean holiday to make a last-gasp and unlikely attempt to regain power months after resigning in ignominy. 

But at the 11th hour he decided not to enter the ballot, saying it was for the good of party unity.

Speaking to his local BBC, Altrincham MP Sir Graham – the chairman of the Tory party’s 1922 Committee – said ‘two candidates’ had reached the threshold, and ‘one of them decided not to then submit his nomination’.

The other MP to mount a campaign was Penny Mordaunt, the Commons Leader. She pulled out just seconds before an announcement on who had reached the 100-MP threshold for support required to be allowed to run to replace Liz Truss.

Sir Graham Brady confirmed the former prime minister’s claim he dropped out despite having enough MPs’ backing to mount a challenge.

Mr Johnson flew home from a Caribbean holiday to make a last-gasp and unlikely attempt to regain power months after resigning in ignominy.

Sir Graham also spoke about his experiences meeting with Liz Truss and Mr Johnson at separate stages this year to tell them they no longer commanded majority support from their MPs.

He told BBC North West Tonight that Ms Truss had ‘come to the same conclusion’ as him regarding the untenable status of her premiership, while Mr Johnson was ‘still determined to go on’ the night before he announced his resignation.

After Mr Sunak was made PM uncontested, Mr Johnson tweeted: ‘Congratulations to Rishi Sunak on this historic day, this is the moment for every Conservative to give our new PM their full and wholehearted support.’

The former premier offered his congratulations a day later than messages from outgoing PM Ms Truss and Mr Sunak’s fellow leadership hopeful, Penny Mordaunt.

In his speech, Mr Sunak said he will ‘always be grateful’ to Mr Johnson for his ‘incredible achievements’ in No 10.

He pledged to deliver on the Conservative 2019 manifesto, insisting Mr Johnson would agree it is not ‘the sole property of any one individual’.

He said: ‘I will always be grateful to Boris Johnson for his incredible achievements as prime minister and I treasure his warmth and generosity of spirit.

‘I know he 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.

‘And the heart of that mandate is our manifesto. I will deliver on its promise.’

In a statement, Mr Johnson said there was a ‘very good chance’ he could have been back in No 10 by the end of the week if he had stood.

However, his efforts to ‘reach out’ to his rivals – Mr Sunak and Ms Mordaunt – to work together in the national interest had not been successful so he was dropping out.

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