On the Short List to Replace Liz Truss Is a Familiar Face

Boris Johnson is expected to stand for the post as UK prime minister
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted Oct 20, 2022 12:21 PM CDT
Could Boris Johnson End Up Back in Power?
Boris Johnson outside Downing Street in London, Tuesday, Sept. 6, 2022.   (AP Photo/Frank Augstein)

Liz Truss is out as UK prime minister after only six weeks. Might Boris Johnson be back in the post before the end of the month? As the ruling Conservative Party scrambles to pick a new leader, Johnson—who resigned amid scandal in July—appears to be on everybody's short list. The Times of London, for example, reports that Johnson is expected to put his name in contention. "He's taking soundings but is said to believe it is a matter of national interest," tweeted the newspaper's political editor, Steven Swinford.

British bookmakers now have Johnson with 9/2 odds, just behind the 7/2 odds of Rishi Sunak, per Sky News. Sunak is the former UK treasury chief who was defeated by Truss in the party leadership contest to replace Johnson only last month. Johnson is reportedly vacationing in the Caribbean and has not commented on the speculation. The Washington Post notes that in his resignation speech, Johnson likened himself to the ancient Roman leader Cincinnatus, who returned to power after retirement. Still, whether Johnson would have the support of enough Conservative lawmakers is unclear, given his recent scandals.

"We need to remember that Mr. Johnson is still under investigation by the Privileges Committee for potentially misleading the House," tweeted one such lawmaker, Sir Roger Gale. "Until that investigation is complete and he is found guilty or cleared, there should be no possibility of him returning to Government." But another Conservative, Brendan Clarke-Smith, argued that the party needs someone who had "a mandate from people in the last general election, a mandate from party members, and somebody actually who can get this party going again, get us winning elections again," per CNN. "The only person that I think that ticks all those boxes is Boris Johnson." Truss' replacement should be in place by the end of October, reports the Wall Street Journal. (More Boris Johnson stories.)

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