Former UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson arrived back in Britain today as he attempts to win a second term as Prime Minister only weeks after he was forced to step down.
Some colleagues have warned that his comeback could create more political chaos.
The potential candidates to replace Prime Minister Liz Truss, who dramatically quit on Thursday after only six weeks in power, were embarking on a frantic weekend of lobbying to secure enough nominations to enter the leadership contest before Monday’s deadline.
Mr Johnson, who was on holiday in the Caribbean when Ms Truss resigned, has received the support of dozens of Conservative lawmakers, but needs to secure 100 nominations to be considered.
Former Defence Minister Penny Mordaunt became the first candidate to officially declare an intention to run to be the next leader of the Conservative Party, but Mr Johnson and Mr Rishi Sunak, once his finance minister, led potential contenders ahead of voting next week.
According to media reports, Mr Sunak is the first leadership candidate to hit the threshold of 100 nominations to enter the contest before Monday’s deadline. Mr Johnson currently has about half that support.
Mr Johnson is currently under investigation by Parliament’s Privileges Committee to establish whether he lied to the House of Commons over lockdown-breaking parties. If ministers are found to have knowingly misled parliament, they are expected to resign.
The contest to become Britain’s fourth prime minister in four years has been accelerated to take only a week. Under the rules, only three candidates will be able to reach the first ballot of lawmakers on Monday afternoon, with the final two put to a vote of party members for a result by next Friday.