Zahawi shuts down Boris supporters as he has ‘no chance’ to return

Nadhim Zahawi says Boris Johnson won't make comeback as PM

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Nadhim Zahawi warned attempts to challenge Rishi Sunak ahead of the next general election would be a “sure-fire” to see the Conservatives ousted. Mr Zahawi dismissed suggestions Boris Johnson could return to lead both the country and the party after speculation arose following the confirmation he would contest his seat in 2024. Asked by Sky News host Sophy Ridge whether Mr Johnson has a chance to come back, Mr Zahawi said: “No, because having another leadership election would be a sure-fire way of us losing the elections.”

He added: “I speak to Boris Johnson. In fact, I spoke for him in his constituency in a conversation with the chairman of the party [event].

“Let me tell you what Boris Johnson thinks. As he did when he reflected and stepped aside and supported Rishi Sunak.

“He said, ‘I will not be selfish, I will put country and party ahead.’ And Rishi has the overwhelming support of the parliamentary party which is why he supported him.

“That was the right thing to do. We have to remain united.”

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He added: “We have local elections coming up next year, we’ve got a whole delivery programme on health, on education.

“And, of course, on safer streets, and small boats we have to deliver against. That is what Boris Johnson is focussed on at the moment.”

Boris Johnson’s resignation in July exacerbated an already bitter crisis within the Conservative Party, later enhanced by the quick resignation of his successor Liz Truss in October.

YouGov’s latest survey on voting intentions showed Labour continued to lead the Tories by 25 percentage points after hitting the biggest point lead in September.


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Rishi Sunak has been left grappling with the ongoing financial crisis and the aftermath of Ms Truss’s disastrous mini-budget.

Supporters of Boris Johnson have maintained his return could avoid the Party a defeat at the next general election, citing the results of the 2019 vote as an incentive to return him to the top seat.

Mr Johnson confirmed this week he will be running again in 2024 to keep hold of his Uxbridge seat for the Conservatives.

The announcement comes as 11 Tory MPs confirmed they will not be contesting the election.


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