Boris Johnson 'wants to wipe away his resignation and stay in No10'

Boris Johnson ‘wants to wipe away’ his resignation and stay in No10, says key ally as Tory petition amasses 10,000 signatures – but Downing St insists the PM has quit and will stand aside when new leader is elected

  • Boris Johnson due to step down in September after sleaze-ravaged premiership
  • Allies are demanding that Tory members be given a chance to keep him in post
  • Claims the PM wants to ‘wipe away’ his resignation and stay on in Downing St

Boris Johnson wants to ‘wipe away’ his resignation and stay in No10, a key ally said tonight as rumours swirl about his intentions.

Lord Cruddas of Shoreditch, a former Conservative Party treasurer, said the PM ‘does not want’ to quit and ‘wished that he could carry on’.

The peer has been running a campaign for members to reject Mr Johnson’s departure, with claims a petition has amassed 10,000 signatures.

However, Downing Street responded to his comments by insisting Mr Johnson has resigned as party leader and will stand aside when a replacement is chosen. Rishi Sunak and Liz Truss are in a head-to-head ballot of activists with the results due on September 5. 

Lord Cruddas told the Daily Telegraph: ‘There was no ambiguity in Boris’s views. He definitely does not want to resign. He wants to carry on and he believes that, with the membership behind him, he can.’

The peer added: ‘Boris thanked me for my ‘Boris on the ballot’ campaign. He said he was enjoying following it and he wished me well. He said he could understand the membership’s anger at what had happened. He said that he wished that he could carry on as Prime Minister. He said he does not want to resign.’

When asked by the peer if he would ‘wipe away’ his resignation immediately with ‘a magic wand’, Mr Johnson is said to have replied: ‘I would wipe away everything that stops me being PM in a second.’

Lord Cruddas added: ‘He wants to carry on to finish the job. He wants to fight the next general election as leader of the Conservative Party.’

Boris Johnson wants to ‘wipe away’ his resignation and stay in No10, a key ally said tonight as rumours swirl about his intentions


Rishi Sunak and Liz Truss are in a head-to-head ballot of activists with the results due on September 5

Lord Cruddas of Shoreditch, a former Conservative Party treasurer, said the PM does not want’ to quit and ‘wished that he could carry on’

A No10 spokeswoman said: ‘The Prime Minister has resigned as party leader and set out his intention to stand down as PM when the new leader is in place.’ 

It came as a  senior minister said he would be ‘comfortable’ with Boris Johnson returning to  Government after quitting Downing Street.

Education Secretary James Cleverly said he does not rule out supporting the outgoing PM returning to a ministry but that it is not a decision for him to take.

Mr Johnson is due to step down on September 6, but has so far remained silent on what he plans to do afterwards.

Earlier the PM’s spokesman stressed that Mr Johnson had given a ‘farewell address to Parliament’, ahead of his replacement taking office on September 6. 

The spokesman said: ‘You heard the Prime Minister say his farewell address to Parliament, he gave advice for his successor.

‘Beyond that, obviously I can’t comment on what the Prime Minister may choose to do once he ceases to be Prime Minister, that wouldn’t be one for me.’

Asked on Sky News if Mr Johnson should get a senior role in Government, Mr Cleverly said: ‘He’s an incredibly talented politician. Whether he would want to serve after the bruising that he’s got at moment that might be another matter, but it’s not for me to start dictating to Liz (Truss) who she puts into her Cabinet.’

He added: ‘I would be comfortable if she is.’

However other ministers and Tory MPs have suggested Mr Johnson should not return to Government and the party must move on.

Sir Robert Buckland, the Welsh Secretary, told the Telegraph it was time for ‘a new chapter for him and a new chapter for the Conservative Party’.

Asked about a return to the Cabinet, he added: ‘It is unlikely. In modern politics, there are very few, if any, second chances. We’ve turned a page.’

Conservative former minister Chris Philp, asked about the remarks by Lord Cruddas, told Channel 4 News: ‘That ship has sailed. We have a process which we have gone through. The Prime Minister chose voluntarily to resign, that was accepted by everybody. We have run a process in Parliament to select those final two candidates.

‘He resigned, for reasons he will know about. He did that voluntarily, under pressure, but voluntarily.

‘We are now going to elect a new leader. That process is going to carry forward.

‘And on this point about Lord Cruddas’ petition, I would just urge people to disregard that. It’s a sideshow, and what I would certainly say, when people get their ballot papers, mark a vote for one of the two candidates, don’t spoil your ballot paper by writing anything else, if you do that, your vote won’t count.’

On Friday there were claims Mr Johnson thinks he will return as Prime Minister next year even though he only resigned less than three weeks ago.

The PM announced he would step down on July 7 after 57 ministers resigned from the Government in just 48 hours following the Chris Pincher scandal.

However, he has been privately saying he will make a comeback to Downing Street as soon as next year, according to his former aide Tim Montgomerie.

Mr Montgomerie, who became critical of Mr Johnson after he left his employment around the end of 2019, said: ‘Boris is telling aides that he’ll be PM again within a year.’

It is not the first time rumours of a second Johnson premiership have surfaced. 

He bowed out of his final Prime Minister’s Questions (PMQs) last Wednesday, telling MPs: ‘Hasta la vista, baby’.

His very final words were an apparent reference to Arnold Schwarzenegger’s catchphrase from the film Terminator, which is also famous for the line ‘I’ll be back’. 

Mr Johnson made a secret visit to UK special forces troops today as he continues his laid-back approach to seeing out his term as PM.

The latest trip, confirmed by No10 today, followed a visit to see Ukrainian soldiers being trained in Britain that saw him don camouflage gear and fire guns.

Mr Johnson’s spokesman would not say if he was visiting the Special Boat Service (SBS), based in Poole, or the Hereford Based Special Air Service (SAS)- whose motto is ‘who dares wins’.

Education Secretary James Cleverly said he does not rule out supporting the outgoing PM returning to a ministry but that it is not a decision for him to take.

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