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Boris Johnson calls parliament “provisional” time – and that spells trouble for Sunak


When Boris Johnson said on Friday that he would leave parliament “for the time being”, seldom can two words be charged with such a political threat.

Johnson leaves parliament in an outburst of Trumpian anger, but he’s not leaving. Seen from Downing Street, Johnson is now a dangerous maverick, determined to do everything he can to topple Prime Minister Rishi Sunak.

This is personal. Sunak and the Whitehall machine prevented Johnson from presenting honors to a number of the ex-premier’s acolytes, including a proposed knighthood for his father, Stanley.

Johnson also blames Sunak for his demise, arguing that his former chancellor stopped him from spending money and cutting taxes while he fought to stay at No. 10 last year.

Sunak’s resignation as chancellor hastened Johnson’s political downfall. “Spicy,” is how a minister described Johnson’s move on Friday evening.

Some Tory MPs told the Financial Times on Friday night that Johnson was “done”, that he is a picked flush who jumped before being pushed by the parliamentary committee investigating the “partygate” scandal.

“Tidy is neat,” said a former Tory cabinet minister. Another former minister said: “It’s all sickening, including his honor roll.”

But Johnson can still cause serious problems. The fact that he and his political soul mate Nadine Dorries are both resigning as MPs with immediate effect is the prime minister’s first threat.

The last thing Sunak needs are two parliamentary by-elections, both of which will be in Labour’s crosshairs. Both games are expected to take place before the summer break.

Dorries’ seat in Mid Bedfordshire would in normal times be a rock solid Tory seat with a majority of 24,664 in the 2019 election, but Labor is sure to be upset under these circumstances.

Johnson’s Uxbridge seat in west London seems certain to fall to Labour. Johnson’s majority of 7,210 in 2019 would have been difficult to defend in the next general election.

There was talk of Johnson doing the “chicken run” from his seat before next year’s election – now speculation is running rampant in Tory circles.

The theory is that the Tories will lose the by-election in both Uxbridge and Mid Beds, but the old Dorries constituency will be looking for a big hitter to win it back from Labor in the general election.

Step forward Boris Johnson? “The idea of ​​Boris going to Nadine’s seat is definitely what people are talking about – 100 per cent,” said a senior Tory official.

Rather than face the shame of being ousted from his seat as a result of the partygate scandal, Johnson stepped out and claimed he is the victim of a rigged parliamentary process, following the tactics used in the US by Donald Trump have been deployed.

If he returns as MP for Mid Beds at the next election, Johnson would follow in the footsteps of his hero Winston Churchill, who regularly swapped parliamentary seats.

Another option being discussed by Tory MPs is for Johnson to seek selection as a candidate in his old safe Tory seat in Henley. In any case, he will not make it easy for Sunak.

If the Tories lose the next election and Sunak steps down as party leader, Johnson could also emulate Churchill in 1945 by leading the Tories in the opposition and bringing them back to power.

It may seem fanciful, but so has been Johnson’s career. Tory MPs have learned never to bet against a politician with huge party appeal.

Few Tory MPs believe now is a time to write Johnson’s political obituary. Rather, his decision to leave parliament immediately was an opportunity to lash out at Sunak and leave open the possibility of his return.

Many Tory MPs are tired of the drama, which they say undermines any chance Sunak had of uniting the party before next year’s election.

Johnson, a former journalist and ex-mayor of London, was the driving force behind Brexit, securing an 80-seat majority as Tory leader in 2019.

His tenure coincided with the Covid crisis. The culture of breaking the lockdown swept over him and precipitated his departure as prime minister last fall.

Johnson recently cut a lone figure at Westminster and was one of only 22 Tory MPs to vote against Sunak’s plan to rewrite post-Brexit trade rules for Northern Ireland.

His parliamentary fan club has shriveled up in recent months, but rumors circulated in Westminster on Friday night that other hard-core “Boris-ites” would also be quitting. However, no one confirmed that this was their intention.

But with Johnson comes chaos. For Sunak, a prime minister who wants to restore order, that can only cause problems.


Merry C. Vega is a highly respected and accomplished news author. She began her career as a journalist, covering local news for a small-town newspaper. She quickly gained a reputation for her thorough reporting and ability to uncover the truth.

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