Let’s make Boris party chairman, say Red Wall MPs

By Claire Ellicott and Brendan Carlin



dmg media (UK)



BORIS JOHNSON’S allies are calling for him to be made party chairman to help the Conservatives win the next Election. Tory MPs in ‘Red Wall’ constituencies think he is the only person who can help turn around the party’s fortunes. The former Prime Minister is due to face a hearing of the House of Commons privileges committee which will assess whether he misled MPs when he said there were no lockdown parties at No10. If the inquiry concludes without sanction, Mr Johnson could then make a return to frontline politics, with his supporters suggesting he should mastermind the party’s election strategy. MPs told The Mail on Sunday that Mr Johnson – who won a thumping 80-seat Commons majority in December 2019 – had been holding meetings with his backers in the party in recent weeks. One former Minister said last night: ‘Boris is the most recognisable politician in the country. He has the ability to connect with people from all walks of life. He is a huge character and is the biggest electoral asset the party has got.’ While Rishi Sunak is unlikely to want to make his former boss and rival the party chairman, he may come under pressure from Conservative MPs. One Johnson ally said: ‘There’s been no poll bounce since Rishi took over. There was a socialist budget, which was dreadful, and now people are starting to rebel. People are responsive to the idea of Boris becoming chairman. Red Wall MPs know he’s the man who can win.’ One Red Wall Tory MP said: ‘I think people would gratefully receive Boris on the campaign trail and in their constituencies, so I can see why it would be suggested, although I’m not sure if he’d be interested.’ Mr Johnson has said that he will be supportive of the new government but would focus on issues close to his heart, including Ukraine and levelling up Britain. He has no plans to step down from Parliament so could take up a role in the future. After bowing out of the leadership race last month, he said: ‘I believe I have much to offer but I am afraid that this is simply not the right time.’