Boris Johnson refuses to rule out political comeback

Boris Johnson has refused to rule out a bid to return to power after he steps down as prime minister next week.

Challenged repeatedly during a TV interview over whether he could “rule out a comeback”, Mr Johnson failed to answer, insisting that voters were not interested in “the fate of this or that politician”.

His comments came as he visited Dorset at the start of a “farewell tour” week of regional visits designed to highlight what he regards as the successes of his three-year tenure as PM.

But his boasts about boosting rural access to high-speech broadband fell flat, as it was confirmed that the government’s target has been downgraded to connecting 85 per cent of homes and businesses by 2025, rather than the 100 per cent promised in the Conservative manifesto for the 2019 election.

Recent days have seen increasingly open speculation that Mr Johnson could make a bid to return to 10 Downing Street – like his hero Winston Churchill – if his successor Liz Truss or Rishi Sunak is unsuccessful in reviving Tory fortunes.

Asked today whether he could rule out a comeback, he replied: “I think on the whole people in this country are more interested in their gigabit broadband than they are in the fate of this or that politician.”

Mr Johnson declined to give himself a rating out of 10 for his term in office.

Asked about his plans after next Tuesday, when he is set to be replaced, he said: “I am concentrating on today.”

Former cabinet minister Rory Stewart earlier this week predicted that Johnson may follow the example of ex-US president Donald Trump and former Italian PM Silvio Berlusconi in attempting a return to power after being ousted.

“He thinks he was badly treated, he doesn’t see the reality that he was a terrible PM,” said Mr Stewart. “I fear we are going to have a second Berlusconi or Trump, trying to rock back in.”

Mr Johnson said he was “proud” to have “delivered on what I said I was going to do” on broadband connectivity.

“I said we would try to get up to 85 per cent gigabit broadband – or 100 per cent gigabit broadband”, he said.

“We’ve gone from 7 per cent when I started to 70 per cent in three years in spite of Covid. That’s not half bad in my view.”

The Conservative manifesto at the last election promised to bring “full fibre and gigabit-capable broadband to every home and business across the UK by 2025”.

But this target was downgraded to 85 per cent in November 2020, and the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport confirmed today that this remains the government’s goal.

Mr Johnson’s successor as Conservative party leader will be named next Monday, following the long drawn-out contest between Ms Truss and Mr Sunak, with the victor taking over as PM the following day.

Related Articles

Bir cavab yazın

Sizin e-poçt ünvanınız dərc edilməyəcəkdir. Gərəkli sahələr * ilə işarələnmişdir

Back to top button