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Could Boris Johnson Run For PM Again?

Charles Hymas

September 8, 2022

Boris Johnson is likely to pitch for Prime Minister again after making some money, provided that he escapes Parliamentary censure over Partygate, a close ally has claimed (writes Charles Hymas for the Daily Telegraph).

Lord Marland, a Conservative peer who led Mr Johnson’s London mayoral campaign and is a longstanding friend, said there was a “distinct possibility” that he would again aim for No 10.

“The scenario could be that we lose the next election, we could be looking for a leader who can win elections - and of course Boris Johnson has that,” said Lord Marland, who served as the Prime Minister’s trade envoy and is a former Tory party treasurer.

"As he said to me the other day, he wants to go and put hay in the loft, in other words to build up his bank balance so that he can afford to pay for the lifestyle that he has created. “I think once he's done that, if he is still a member of Parliament and hasn't been found to have behaved incorrectly by the standards committee - which is a possibility - I think he does have that opportunity."

It comes as legal advice, commissioned by the Cabinet Office, is expected on Friday to call into question the legitimacy of the 'partygate' inquiry into Mr Johnson. The advice, by Lord Pannick, QC, is said to show that investigating ministers for misleading the Commons “in good faith” would create a chilling effect and would “paralyse democracy.”

Lord Marland told BBC's Newsnight Mr Johnson’s departure would be a “great loss” to politics but “hopefully only temporary. He was got in the end, and as Boris said himself he didn't spend enough time looking in the rear-view mirror,” he said. “He is this most irresistible and unique character, who has been the most compelling player in politics for the last few years - and a reference point for many politicians.

“So this is a kind of an end of a helter-skelter period, to put it politely. He will be a great loss to politics - but, hopefully, it will only be a temporary loss."

A large majority of Conservative Party members still prefer Boris Johnson over Rishi Sunak or Liz Truss, according to a new poll. The latest Opinium survey shows that Ms Truss has a healthy lead over Mr Sunak in the Tory leadership race, ahead 61 per cent to 39 per cent.

© Charles Hymas for the Daily Telegraph

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