Does your MP want Boris Johnson back? List of Tories calling for his return as PM


Outgoing Prime Minister Boris Johnson makes a speech outside 10 Downing Street, London, before leaving for Balmoral for an audience with Queen Elizabeth II to formally resign as Prime Minister. Picture date: Tuesday September 6, 2022.
Will Boris Johnson get enough backing from MPs to return as prime minister? (Getty)

Three influential ministers have thrown their weight behind Boris Johnson to replace Liz Truss as prime minister, despite being ousted from the office a few months ago.

Johnson left Number 10 in September after he was forced out by his own MPs following a series of scandals.

But various reports have suggested that Johnson - who has been holidaying in the Dominican Republic as his successor's government fell apart, leading to her departure - is planning a comeback, with supporters urging him to run as leader again.

Despite no word from him, three influential ministers (Ben Wallace, Simon Clarke and Jacob Rees Mogg) have already declared for Johnson.

His allies point to his 80 seat that he alone has won a general election for the Conservative party and therefore has a mandate from the British public, while those against his return could reportedly resign the whip and sit as independents rather than serve under his leadership.

So far only Penny Mordaunt has declared she will be running for leader.

In order to run as leader, Johnson needs to secure the nominations of 100 of the Tory party's 357 MPs.

As of 6pm on Friday, several Conservative supporting websites have tracked how many MPs back Johnson.

Watch: Boris Johnson 'could get to 100 threshold' - but will he return from Caribbean?

The following list of names has been taken from the Conservative Home website, and includes when they declared and who they supported in the leadership race earlier this summer.

Paul Bristow (20/10) (backed Shapps, then Truss)

James Duddridge (20/10) (backed Truss)

Nadine Dorries (20/10) (backed Truss)

Brendan Clarke-Smith (20/10) (backed Patel, then Truss)

Michael Fabricant (20/10) (backed Truss)

Stephen McPartland (20/10) (backed Truss)

Marco Longhi (20/10) (backed Badenoch, then Truss)

Andrea Jenkyns (20/10) (backed Patel, then Truss)

Andrew Stephenson (20/10)

Lia Nici (20/10) (backed Truss)

Christopher Chope (20/10) (backed Patel, then Truss)

Shaun Bailey (20/10) (backed Truss)

David Morris (20/10) (backed Hunt)

Karl McCartney (20/10)

Amanda Milling (20/10) (backed Truss)

Peter Bone (20/10) (backed Truss)

Chris Clarkson (20/10) (backed Sunak)

Jane Hunt (20/10)

Tom Pursglove (20/10) (backed Patel, then Truss)

James Grundy (21/10)

Holly Mumby-Croft (21/10)

Trudy Harrison (21/10)

Scott Benton (21/10)

Mark Eastwood (21/10)

Jill Mortimer (21/10)

Kelly Tolhurst (21/10)

Richard Drax (21/10)

Phillip Hollobone (21/10)

Shailesh Vara (21/10)

Maria Caulfield (21/10)

Sir Edward Leigh (21/10)

Nigel Adams (21/10)

Jacob Rees-Mogg (21/10)

Ian Levy (21/10)

Henry Smith (21/10)

Tom Pursglove (21/10)

Mark Pritchard (21/10)

Jane Stevenson (21/10)

Gareth Johnson (21/10)

Ben Wallace (21/10) (backed Truss)

Leo Docherty (21/10) (backed Badenoch, then Truss)

Caroline Johnson (21/10) (backed Badenoch, then Truss)

Simon Clarke (21/10) (backed Truss)

A separate list from the Guido Fawkes website suggested Johnson has the support of 63 MPs, with 87 having pledged support to Rishi Sunak and 23 backing Penny Mordaunt. However, this list contains a number of anonymous backers.

The Guido list also includes Defence Secretary Ben Wallace who said on Friday he is "leaning towards" backing Johnson.

Levelling Up Secretary Simon Clarke has also thrown his weight behind Johnson.

Tees Valley Mayor Ben Houchen also declared for Johnson at the same time as Clarke, although as he is not a sitting Tory MP he doesn't get to vote in the parliamentary stage of the leadership race.

Cop26 president Alok Sharma also backed Johnson in the Tory leadership race.

He tweeted: “I am backing Boris Johnson – he won a mandate from the electorate in 2019.

“We need to get back to delivering on the Conservatives manifesto we were elected on.”

Despite some backing him publicly, Johnson's return is not guaranteed, with many thinking his support falls short of the necessary 100 MPs he needs.

Read more: Majority of Britons want the new prime minister to call a general election, new poll shows

One former minister, who is backing Rishi Sunak, told the Guardian: "The brutal truth for Boris is that his support has not shifted at all since he was ousted. Then he had roughly 40 MPs still backing him, maybe 20 more are soft votes.

"I cannot see him getting more than 60 votes so … he’s done. He will say he is grandly not putting himself forward for the good of the nation because he knows he’ll get stuffed."

One ally told the Guardian that Johnson felt it was in the "national interest" for him to stage a return. Another said the Tory heavyweight felt his premiership had been unfairly "cut off before its time" and that he still had plenty to do at No 10.

Britain's former Culture Secretary Nadine Dorries arrives in Downing Street, central London, on September 6, 2022. - British Prime Minister Boris Johnson formally tenders his resignation to Queen Elizabeth II on Tuesday, handing over power to Liz Truss after his momentous tenure dominated by Brexit and Covid was cut short by scandal. (Photo by Daniel LEAL / AFP) (Photo by DANIEL LEAL/AFP via Getty Images)
Nadine Dorries is a vocal supporter of Boris Johnson. (Getty)

Nadine Dorries told Sky News: "He is a known winner and that is certainly who I’m putting my name against because I want us to win the general election. Having a winner in place is what the party needs to survive."

But for others, the scandal surrounding the former PM shouldn't be forgotten. Johnson still faces an investigation by the Commons Privileges Committee over claims he lied to Parliament over lockdown parties in Downing Street, which could potentially see him expelled as an MP.

Veteran backbencher Sir Roger Gale, a long-time critic of Mr Johnson, told Times Radio: "I think that there would be people, indeed like myself, who would find ourselves in the awful position of having to resign the Conservative whip."