London, Oct 22 (EFE).- Sources from Boris Johnson’s campaign have told the BBC on Saturday that the former British prime minister has the support of over 100 Tory members of parliament, as speculation over his return to power mounts
Johnson, who arrived in the United Kingdom Saturday after a vacation in the Dominican Republic, is yet to make an official statement over whether he will present his nomination for the Monday ballot to elect a new Conservative leader following Liz Truss’ resignation.
Nominations opened on Thursday night and close at 2:00 p.m. local time (1:00 p.m. GMT) Monday.Candidates must secure the backing of at least 100 MPs to join the leadership race. If only one candidate surpasses the 100 cusp, they would automatically become the next leader of the Conservative party.
Former economy minister Rishi Sunak has also surpassed the 100 threshold, but has not confirmed whether or not he will stand for the leadership contest, UK media have been reporting.
Truss took over as prime minister on September 6 following Johnson’s resignation, whose government was rocked by a series of scandals over illegal lockdown parties.
Johnson’s departure triggered a leadership race in which Truss, backed by the party’s right-wing faction, saw off competition from former finance chief Sunak.
The early stages of Truss’ tenure, which is set to be the shortest of any PM in UK history, were overshadowed by the death of Queen Elizabeth II on September 8 and the period of mourning that followed thereafter.
Major cracks began to appear in late September when her former finance chief, Kwasi Kwarteng, unveiled his tax-slashing mini-budget, which prompted a volatile reaction in the markets and caused the pound to slump amid concerns over how the government would fund its plan.
Last ditch U-turns by the government were fruitless, and Kwarteng was gone by October 14, replaced by the comparatively moderate Jeremy Hunt, a former health secretary.
Already frail, the UK government entered a tail spin this week culminating Wednesday with the resignation of the home secretary Suella Braverman, a botched effort to enforce party discipline in a parliamentary vote and allegations of senior lawmakers manhandling and bullying junior MPs.
By Thursday morning, a growing number of Tory MPs were publicly calling on Truss to go.EFE