Will Boris Johnson stand in Nadine Dorries' seat? What we know after former prime minister's resignation
Could the controversial former prime minister be eyeing up a comeback already?
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Questions are already being asked over Boris Johnson making a comeback to politics just hours after he resigned as an MP with immediate effect. The decision will trigger a by-election in his constituency of Uxbridge and South Ruislip.
The former prime minister quit politics claiming he was forced out of Parliament over Partygate, after he saw in advance the report from the Privileges committee, which was investigating if he misled the House of Commons. He called the committee - which has a majority of Conservatives on it - a "kangaroo court" and attacked chairman, Labour's Harriet Harman.
But now, already attention has turned to if he will make a return to frontline politics and when that could be. In his statement, in which he says the committee's purpose has been "to find me guilty, regardless of the facts", he said he was sad to be leaving Parliament - "at least for now".
That line has raised questions he will not disappear for long, especially with long-time ally Nadine Dorries also resigning yesterday, triggering another by-election in her constituency of Mid-Bedfordshire. According to national reports, Mr Johnson's spokesperson has declined to comment on the suggestion he could stand in Ms Dorries former seat.
In her statement, Ms Dorries said: "I have today informed the chief whip that I am standing down as the MP for Mid Bedfordshire, with immediate effect. It has been an honour to serve as the MP for such a wonderful constituency but it is now time for someone younger to take the reins."
Close confidant, fellow MP Conor Burns, has suggested his resignation would not be the end. He tweeted: “On this day in 1983 Mrs Thatcher won a landslide majority. Today the only Conservative leader to do likewise leaves Parliament.
"Boris stood up for the people against the Remain establishment and delivered Brexit. He was a significant PM. I fancy this isn’t the end. Good luck boss.”
When Johnson resigned as prime minister in 2022, he signed off his final speech in the House of Commons with "hasta la vista, baby". There has been speculation for months, he could try and switch from his marginal seat to a Tory safe seat.
Would Boris Johnson be allowed to be an MP again?
It could be difficult. As Johnson has quit before the Privileges Committee report along with recommendations has been published, any move to suspend him has now been quashed.
Sir Chris Bryant, Labour chair of the Privileges Committee who stood aside to allow the Partygate probe to take place, has suggested Johnson would not be allowed to stand in a new seat if he had been suspended.
The committee had the power to recommend Mr Johnson be suspended from parliament. And it seems their report may have been looking to suggest that, judging by Johnson's resignation. The former prime minister accused the privileges committee of “egregious bias”.
Johnson has been accused of showing contempt for parliament by resigning before the report has been published. Mr Bryant said a committee report can be published on a “member or non-member”, adding: “The idea he’d stand in another seat is for the birds. He’d just be suspended again.”
When will we see the Privileges Committee report on Boris Johnson?
The report into whether Johnson misled MPs over Partygate 'will be published promptly', the Privileges Committee has said. They will meet on Monday to complete the inquiry.
It is believed to have recommended the former prime minister's suspension for more than 10 days, which could have led to a recall petition and by-election in his constituency. A by-election will now take place anyway.
A Privileges Committee spokesperson said: “The Committee has followed the procedures and the mandate of the House at all times and will continue to do so. Mr Johnson has departed from the processes of the House and has impugned the integrity of the House by his statement.