BORIS Johnson has told an ally he is about to stage an audacious comeback and enter the contest to replace Liz Truss as leader of the Conservatives.
Sir James Duddridge told the PA news agency: “I’ve been in contact with the boss via WhatsApp. I came out for him before he declared for himself.
“He’s going to fly back. He said, ‘I’m flying back, Dudders. We are going to do this. I’m up for it’.”
His Westminster colleague, Johnny Mercer said he could not put himself or his constituents through another Boris Johnson leadership.
He told BBC Radio 4’s PM programme: “Boris is a friend of mine, I love him to bits, he’s a great guy, but I just don’t think I can put myself through that again. I don’t think I can ask my constituents to, I don’t think I can ask my staff.
“I love Boris to bits and he’s got amazing qualities for this country but it is now time for serious, competent, straightforward and values-based governance.”
Mr Johnson was forced to resign in disgrace in July following questions over the appointment of deputy chief whip Chris Pincher.
Downing Street said Mr Johnson was not aware of any “specific allegations” about Mr Pincher when he appointed him to the whips office, but it emerged over the following days that he was told about allegations against him as far back as 2019.
The lie led to 57 of his ministers resigning.
He is also currently being investigated by the Commons Privileges Committee over whether he lied to parliament over Partygate
If he is found to be in contempt of parliament he could be suspended and could face a recall petition in his Uxbridge and South Ruislip constituency.