Boris tipped for ‘Churchill’ comeback after slick Christmas message

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

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Boris Johnson will hold onto his knife-edge West London constituency at the next general election, the former Prime Minister’s allies have claimed. Mr Johnson has recently released a series of slick videos which show him wandering around Uxbridge & South Ruislip. In the weeks since Mr Johnson pulled out of the Tory Party leadership race against his ex-Chancellor Rishi Sunak, the former Prime Minister has uploaded seven videos to his official Instagram account.

The number is a marked increase compared to the four which were released in the two-month period after Mr Johnson first left Downing Street.

In his most recent video, the ex-Prime Minister said: “Hi folks, Boris Johnson here in Uxbridge library, where you can normally find me, wishing everybody in Uxbridge & South Ruislip a very happy Christmas and a wonderful New Year.

“I’m confident that our best days lie ahead of us, as indeed they do for Wealdstone Football Club, they had a very positive start to the season.

“And I can tell you that we are getting on with all sorts of wonderful projects here in Hillingdon, here in Uxbridge & South Ruislip, particularly the new Hillingdon Hospital.

“[It is] absolutely vital that the fantastic NHS doctors, nurses, all the care staff, get the facilities that match their love, their care and their expertise.

“That’s what we are doing and we are working very hard to deliver that in the months ahead and much, much else besides.

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“But in the meantime have a wonderful Christmas and a happy New Year.”

The festive message to constituents comes just days after the former Prime Minister yet again hinted at making a Churchillian comeback.

Writing for the Spectator on December 12, Mr Johnson described the current time in his working life as an “unexpected hiatus” in his career.

During his farewell speech at Downing Street in September, Mr Johnson even likened himself to Lucius Quinctius Cincinnatus.

The 58-year-old pointed out how the Roman statesman “returned to his plough” after serving in high office but omitted the fact that he was later recalled to power. 

Mr Johnson would eventually stage a short-lived plot to return to Number 10 in October following Liz Truss’ resignation and received the backing of 110 Conservative colleagues in the Commons.

However, much to the disappointment of his closest political friends, Mr Johnson pulled out of the race amid concerns he would not be able to unite Tory MPs. 

Despite a turbulent 12 months, the former Prime Minister’s allies remain confident he will return to Parliament as the MP for Uxbridge & South Ruislip at the next general election.

A Conservative MP told “Boris still has an enormous amount to offer British politics, I look forward to seeing him re-elected as an MP and banging the drum for conservatism long into the future.”

Another argued: “I know that Boris fully intends to fight Uxbridge and win. 

“He has a strong local following, residents tell me.”

A third MP added: “I think what this shows is that aside from what people see of him as a public figure, he’s also an excellent MP working hard on local issues in his constituency.”

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An unnamed former advisor to the ex-Prime Minister claimed Mr Johnson will remain committed to his 2019 manifesto pledges, including levelling up.

They told “Boris still has a great deal to offer the nation and still has a good team of people around him. 

“He’s not the kind of person to feel content with seeing the UK dip into managed decline. 

“It wasn’t just bluster, things like levelling up meant a great deal to him, and he will want to keep it on the political agenda.”

A loyal supporter of the former Prime Minister even compared Mr Johnson’s prospects to his own hero Winston Churchill.

They said: “Boris is rightly consolidating his constituency through admirable work supporting key local campaigns such as the new hospital. 

“This shows he’s serious about staying as an MP and 2023 could see his return – like Churchill.”

Mr Churchill, who was the subject of Mr Johnson’s own book in 2014, had two non-consecutive stints in Downing Street.

He succeeded Neville Chamberlain as Britain’s wartime Prime Minister in 1940 but would later lose the 1945 election to Labour’s Clement Attlee.

It would take Churchill six years and a second general election defeat before he returned to power in 1951.

Despite support from his allies, Mr Johnson will have to hope the Conservative Party can overturn Labour’s current lead in the opinion polls and see off the challenge from the Privileges Committee.

An MRP survey by Savanta ComRes appeared to suggest the tide was turning against the Tories throughout the UK as it gave Sir Keir Starmer’s Labour Party a whopping 314-seat majority and indicated Mr Johnson would currently lose his seat.

The Privileges Committee, which will be chaired by Labour’s former Commons leader Harriet Harman, was set to investigate whether the ex-London Mayor “deliberately” or “knowingly” misled Parliament over Partygate.

However, it has subsequently published a report which claimed: “Intention is not necessary for a contempt to be committed.”

Allies of Mr Johnson responded to the change by alleging the committee had become a “witch-hunt”.

The probe has been delayed until 2023 after Downing Street submitted a dossier of evidence four months after it was requested.

If Mr Johnson is found to have been in contempt of the House of Commons, the Privileges Committee could recommend he be suspended from Parliament for 10 days.

The sanction would trigger a recall petition in Uxbridge & South Ruislip, which could result in a by-election. 

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