Boris Johnson Goads Rishi Sunak Over Poor Tory Poll Ratings
Boris Johnson has goaded Rishi Sunak over the prime minister’s poll ratings, as he delivered his first public speech in the UK after being forced out of No.10.
Speaking in Westminster on Thursday afternoon, Johnson said it was “very unlikely” he would “need to do anything big in politics again”.
But he indicated he would continue to speak out on issues including Brexit, the need to level up the north of England and to help Ukraine.
And the former PM said: “When I stepped down we were only a handful of points behind the Labour Party.”
When Johnson announced his resignation on July 7, 2022, YouGov polling showed Labour on 40% and the Tories on 29% — an 11 point lead.
The latest survey from YouGov has put Labour on 46% and the Tories on 23% — 23 points ahead.
Latest Westminster voting intention (21-22Feb)
Con: 23% (+1 from 14-15 Feb)
Lab: 46% (-4)
Lib Dem: 9% (=)
Reform UK: 8% (+1)
Green: 7% (+1)
SNP: 4% (=)https://t.co/jjdEhjdpTdpic.twitter.com/uMYdZ8bOBg
— YouGov (@YouGov) February 28, 2023
On September 29, 2022, YouGov released a shock poll that showed Labour had surged to a 33-point lead over the Conservatives amid the market turmoil caused by Liz Truss’ mini-Budget.
When Truss quit as prime minister, Johnson mounted a dramatic challenge to Sunak in a bid to return to No.10.
In the end he pulled out of the contest after deciding he did not have enough support from Tory MPs to lead a stable government.
But rumours in Westminster that Johnson still hopes to make a comeback have not gone away, stoked by allies who want him to return.
Asked today about his future plans, Johnson said: “I think it very, very unlikely that I will need to do anything big in politics again.”
He also devoted a large section of his speech to trashing Sunak’s new Brexit deal, which he said would be “very difficult” for him to vote for.