Boris Johnson told to abandon ‘Trumpish nonsense’ about staying on as prime minister

Boris Johnson told to abandon ‘Trumpish nonsense’ about staying on as prime minister because it’s ‘not going to happen’ with new poll showing 70% of voters think he was right to quit – and allies suggest he could become Nato boss instead

  • Allies of the PM have launched grassroots campaign to allow him a chance 
  • But former ally Steve Baker said he must quell any desire to reverse departure
  • Said the idea the prime minister can continue now he’s resigned was ‘risible’
  • Warned that encouraging idea risks ‘the type of nonsense that Trump fomented’

Boris Johnson has been told to stop encouraging a ‘Trumpish fantasy’ about staying in power despite being forced out of No10 – as a new poll revealed the vast majority of voters wanted him gone. 

Allies of the Prime Minister have launched a grassroots campaign to allow him a chance to stay in No10. 

Some 10,000 people claiming to be Tory members backing a petition calling for him to be allowed to enter the current leadership election.

No10 has insisted that he intends to leave office in September but Lord Cruddas, the Tory donor behind the campaign has said the PM is having second thoughts. 

Mr Johnson has personally yet to publicly comment on the claim, first made in the Telegraph. 

However his former ally Steve Baker said he must quell any desire to reverse his departure.

It came as a new poll showed 70 per cent of all voters think he was right to quit – though Tory voters are evenly split. 

Former Brexit minister Mr Baker told HuffPo UK: ‘The idea the prime minister can continue now he’s resigned after the collapse of his government is risible. It’s not going to happen.

‘But the act of encouraging people to think it might really does risk the type of nonsense that Trump fomented in the US.

Allies of the Prime Minister have launched a grassroots campaign to allow him a chance to stay in No10.

Allies of the Prime Minister have launched a grassroots campaign to allow him a chance to stay in No10.

However his former ally Steve Baker said he must quell any desire to reverse his departure.

However his former ally Steve Baker said he must quell any desire to reverse his departure.

Former Brexit minister Mr Baker told HuffPo UK: 'The act of encouraging people to think it might really (happen) does risk the type of nonsense that Trump fomented in the US.

Former Brexit minister Mr Baker told HuffPo UK: ‘The act of encouraging people to think it might really (happen) does risk the type of nonsense that Trump fomented in the US.

‘It’s not responsible, it’s not right and Boris should abandon this fantasy about continuing.

‘I too lament that his period as prime minister went badly wrong, but wishing it were otherwise is not a strategy. It’s time to move on.’

Meanwhile other allies of the PM have touted him as a possible new head of Nato. 

The PM has been a leading force in uniting the West in support of Ukraine. Current Nato secretary general Jens Stoltenberg is expected to quit in September next year. His replacement would have to be unanimously agreed by all members of the alliance.

Last night Mr Trump, in his first return to Washington since Democrat Joe Biden ousted him from the White House, repeated his false election fraud claims that sparked the January 6 2020 Capitol insurrection.

He believes he was wrongly removed from power and should still be serving in the White House. 

Federal and state election officials and Mr Trump’s own attorney general have said there is no credible evidence the 2020 election was tainted. The former president’s allegations of fraud were also roundly rejected by US courts, including by judges he appointed.

Downing Street was forced this week to confirm that the PM would step down once a new Conservative Party leader is in place in September.

It came after Lord Cruddas said he wanted to  ‘wipe away’ his resignation and stay in No10.

Cruddas, a former Tory chairman who was gifted his peerage by Mr Johnson, said the PM ‘does not want’ to quit and ‘wished that he could carry on’.

He 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.’

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

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

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.’

The comments forced a No10 spokeswoman to respond, saying: ‘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.’

And Ms Truss dismissed the idea of her predecessor staying in Cabinet or making a comeback as PM.

During Monday’s BBC debate on live TV, she said ‘what’s done is done’ and Mr Johnson would be taking a ‘well-earned break’.

‘Having spent time with him this week on foreign affairs, I very, very much suspect that he would not want a future role in the Government, I think he needs a well-earned break from what has been a very difficult few years,’ she said.

‘After all, he was seriously ill with Covid, we haven’t even talked about that, and that was a terrible moment when we didn’t know what was going to happen, he has faced real challenges that no leader would have expected to face, the appalling war in Ukraine, so I simply don’t think that is really an option.’

She added: ‘I just don’t think it’s going to happen, I think that what’s done is done, the party has made the decision, I have told you my views of that, I have now put myself forward as a candidate because I think I’m the right person to do the job and I don’t believe that he would want further involvement.’

Pushed further, Ms Truss said: ‘I am sure he will have a role, I am sure he will be vocal but he will not be part of the government.’

Mr Sunak said: ‘The simple answer from me is no, I think we need to look forward at this point, that’s why I want to be prime minister.’

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