Politics

Boris Johnson to be called back as part of Tory plan to stop Labour winning election?

Britain is heading for a “3 PM election” with former prime ministers Boris Johnson and Lord Cameron returning to their scenes of greatest electoral triumph.
Mr Johnson is expected to unleash his campaigning talents in the North of England while his former rival Lord Cameron will battle to keep seats in the South West blue.
Tories believe that Labour’s Sir Keir Starmer and Angela Rayner will struggle to match the combined charisma of Rishi Sunak and his two most successful predecessors.
A senior Conservative source said: “Boris is our best campaigner and he will be deployed.”
Foreign Secretary Lord Cameron led the Tories to a major victory in the South West in 2015 when the party wiped out the Liberal Democrats, taking 15 seats. He is expected to pound pavements in Cornwall as Conservatives to fight to hold onto this territory.
Mr Sunak has been urged to reach out to Mr Johnson to ensure that he will take part in the election.
Sir John Hayes, one of the most prominent MPs on the Right of the party, said: “I think Boris Johnson is a great asset electorally and I’d be delighted if he would come and campaign in my constituency and I’m sure many other Conservative MPs would say the same. Rishi should be on the phone to Boris, engaging him without delay.”
Conservative MP Marco Longhi welcomed the prospect of two ex-prime ministers joining Mr Sunak in the election battle.
He said: “A 3 PM election campaign with Boris and Cameron fighting alongside Rishi to keep Starmer and Rayner out of power would send a powerful message that we are the only party that cares for every part of the country.”
The party remains far behind Labour in the opinion polls but there is optimism in Tory ranks that voters will soon feel better off as National Insurance cuts kick-in.
Laura Trott, the Chief Secretary to the Treasury, told the Sunday Express that “2024 will be the year Britain’s economy bounces back,” adding: “Wages are increasing faster than prices for the eighth month in a row and growth is returning to the economy.”
Tory MPs hope that when they return after the Easter recess they will pass legislation to ensure the first flights carrying migrants to Rwanda for processing are not grounded by legal challenges.
Mr Longhi said: “We need to get the Rwanda flights off without delay. That will demonstrate we take our national security seriously and are prepared to take action that Sir Keir is too timid to contemplate.”
The Prime Minister has steadied the ship after claims that Right-wingers were plotting to replace him with Leader of the Commons Penny Mordaunt.
There are strong suspicions the rumours were spread as an attempt to weaken the PM and smear Ms Morduant as a plotter to damage her chances in a post-election leadership contest.
A Tory source said: “We all know what this is about. It’s a double-whammy attempt to undermine both Rishi and Penny at the same time. They get two for the price of one.”
A senior Conservative who expects the party will be “annihilated” at the election cast doubt on any coming challenge to Mr Sunak, saying they thought most of their “colleagues are in a foetal position”.
A former cabinet minister urged MPs to stop plotting and unite, saying: “My message to my colleagues is: Stop it. It really, really, really, really doesn’t help.”
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