Former Secretary reveals how Boris Johnson could make comeback
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Speculation is high that the Prime Minister, who was forced to resign in the face of a Tory revolt following a series of scandals, is plotting a sensational comeback. But polling expert Sir John dismissed the prospect of Mr Johnson, who is staying on as an MP, making a return.
Sir John made the comments as he warned the Conservatives would face a battering if there was a general election soon.
The Professor of Politics at the University of Strathclyde said the Tories’ polling problems stem from the Owen Paterson lobbying row last November and the long-running partygate saga.
Sir John told Express.co.uk: “If we have a general election soon the Tories are going to suffer badly. But the same would be true of Johnson if he were still leader.
“Boris Johnson’s legacy to the Conservative Party is to be 10 points behind Labour in the polls.
“The Tories only began to be in serious trouble in the polls with the Owen Paterson affair and partygate.
“This is a self-inflicted wound that basically is Johnson’s legacy.
“I’ve heard discussions about Johnson hanging around in the House of Commons and hoping to be called back again. Come on we need a reality check here.
“The one word that is now associated with Boris Johnson in the public imagination is liar.
“And I do not think there is any way back for somebody who finds himself in that position.
“By the end by the time you got to July 6 when the Government was collapsing even the polls of Tory members showed a majority thought he should resign.
“And If you can’t hang on to your membership let alone the Tory electorate.”
It comes after a poll by J L Partners in April asked 2,000 people what they think about Mr Johnson with the word “liar” the most common response.
The Prime Minister fuelled speculation over a comeback as he signed off his final PMQs on Wednesday by declaring “mission largely accomplished, for now” and adding: “Hasta la vista, baby.”
The Spanish term “hasta la vista” translates to “see you later”, but “hasta la vista, baby” is the catchphrase of Arnold Schwarzenegger’s character in the film Terminator 2: Judgment Day.
Meanwhile, thousands of Tory members have signed a petition demanding his name is added to the leadership ballot along with the final two candidates Rishi Sunak and Liz Truss.
In his final answer from the despatch box, the Prime Minister said: “I want to use the last few seconds to give some words of advice to my successor, whoever he or she may be.
“Number one, stay close to the Americans, stick up for the Ukrainians, stick up for freedom and democracy everywhere.
“Cut taxes and de-regulation wherever you can and make this the greatest place to live and invest, which it is.
“I love the Treasury but remember that if we’d always listened to the Treasury we wouldn’t have built the M25 or the Channel Tunnel.
“Focus on the road ahead, but always remember to check the rear-view mirror.
“And remember above all it’s not Twitter that counts, it’s the people who sent us here.”
Mr Johnson added: “The last few years have been the greatest privilege of my life, and it’s true that I helped to get the biggest Tory majority for 40 years and a huge realignment in UK politics.
“We’ve transformed our democracy and restored our national independence.
“I’ve helped to get this country through a pandemic and helped save another country from barbarism, and frankly that’s enough to be going on with.
“Mission largely accomplished, for now.”
He thanked his staff and MPs before giving a nod to Schwarzenegger’s Terminator character by adding: “Hasta la vista, baby. Thank you.”
Mr Johnson announced his resignation on July 7 just three years after leading the Conservatives to their biggest election victory since 1987.
The departures of Sajiv Javid and Mr Sunak on July 5 amid a row over how the Prime Minister dealt with the Chris Pincher scandal sparked an avalanche of resignations in 24 hours.
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