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Sunak questions Johnson's return to frontline politics

Sunak questions Johnson's return to frontline politics

 


Rishi Sunak's desperation means he has no choice but to consider bringing Boris Johnson back to the frontline of politics, but what's in it for the perpetually on holiday crook himself ? Mandrake can reveal Johnson named his award to Sunak a life peerage.

Even Boris understands that the Tories are now beyond salvation, but it bothers him that David Cameron, his rival from Eton, managed to win a seat in the House of Lords, and he recognizes that this has value on the circuit international and for companies looking for directors. a Downing Street insider told me.

Carrie, needless to say, is cheering him on as she aspires to become Lady Johnson and, of course, it's probably also a matter of now or never for Boris, as Labor could soon be in power for a very long time and he l 'already done. unlikely to be selected for one during their term.

Johnson, who avoided facing voters in Uxbridge and South Ruislip when he resigned as MP in 2023, also has no desire to face the scrutiny and humiliation potential for another parliamentary campaign.

Mandrake understands Sunak first raised the idea with Johnson when they spoke about it before the Remembrance Sunday service at the Cenotaph last year, when he said he would think about it. Suggesting that remembering the dead was the last thing on Sunak's mind that day, he had also apparently taken the opportunity to probe Cameron for the post of Foreign Secretary (after first asking William Hague ).

Sunak, who dealt Johnson a fatal blow when he resigned as chancellor following his handling of the Chris Pincher sexual harassment scandal, surprised many at Westminster when he revealed he was still speaking with Johnson and refused to rule out the possibility of bringing him in. back in his best team.


At No 10, it's not so much about rearranging the deckchairs as it is about moving the flag poles, which now seems to matter to Rishi Sunak.

Mandrake learns that the Prime Minister has just approved a planning application to Westminster Council to move two existing flagpoles to roof level.

The request, made last month, is the third time in three years that it has been deemed necessary to move the No. 10 flags. Boris Johnson, as Prime Minister, had obtained permission to fly a new, higher flag above the number 10, having earlier moved it from the gutter to the roof ridge. Presumably the changes will mean Sunak will now be able to fly three flags on his roof, assuming, of course, the job is completed before he is deported.


Mandrake has previously highlighted how media moguls Lord Rothermere (theDaily MailAndMail Sundayowner) and Rupert Murdoch (the supposedly retired boss ofSunTHETimesand theSunday hours) see things playing out politically in this country.

Rothermere, still heavily influenced by his editor, Paul Dacre, still seems to believe that the Conservatives could win the next election if only Boris Johnson was brought back. Millions of patriotic pro-Brexit voters still hold Boris in high regard and bring Boris back soon, theMail Sunday» pleaded, somewhat poignantly, this weekend.

Murdoch, by contrast, understands that the game is played for the Conservatives and, although he still has meetings with Rishi Sunak, he met him personally five times in the 12 months to September last year. He knows the only interesting question now is who will lead the Conservatives into opposition.

Murdoch clearly wants Nigel Farage to be appointed to the role, even though he has not yet joined the Conservative Party. THESunday hours Decca Aitkenhead was therefore accused of conducting an embarrassing and obsequious interview with Farage, illustrated with a flattering image and a headline which referred to him as the next Tory leader. In a sure sign of proprietary enthusiasm, Aitkenhead felt the need to say:Among othersshe always loved him [Farage] enormously, also talked about how friendly he was and how warm and funny she found him. Pass the sick bag.


Late on a Friday evening, after the first editions went to press, the final list of party donors and courtiers deemed worthy of honors was revealed, without further scrutiny, and included 27-year-old Plaid Cymru candidate Carmen Smith years. , which the taxpayer could well keep in ermine and 40,000 per year in allowances for 70 years.

It is of course easy to cast a curse on the whole House of Lords, but there are still some honest and selfless individuals sitting there, including Alf Dubs (Labour); Michael Cashman (unaffiliated), Ken Clarke (Conservative) and Meral Hussein-Ece (Lib Democrat). Cashman wearily told me that in his 10 years as a member, he had seen the place become very different. Politics has been toxified by Boris Johnson and Brexit, both at home and abroad, he said.

During the debate over the humanitarian situation in Gaza, it is difficult to imagine an issue requiring greater solemnity. One peer actually had to be reprimanded for heckling while another struggled to speak. This is the kind of idiotic behavior that is now common in the Commons but remains shocking in the Lords. The offender? Move forward and hang your head in shame, Ian Austin. I need not add that the Labor defector, often reprimanded in the Commons for heckling, was included in the Lords by Johnson in his dissolution honors list.


It's all well and good for Boris Johnson to attack Tucker Carlson for being a complacent stooge in his much-derided interview with Vladimir Putin, but it's hard not to think what a sycophantic stooge Johnson has been all his life to so many very rich and powerful. Men.

Sir David Barclay, when he was part owner of theToday's telegraph, for which Johnson was a 275,000-a-year columnist, told me it got embarrassing sometimes. If there was ever a man in a room with more money than me, I'd feel Boris's eyes wandering, he told me. And I had always thought how telling it was that the love and devotion he felt for Lord Conrad Black was so quickly transferred to me when ownership of theTelegraphtransferred from him to me.

Johnson of course praised Elon Musk and Mark Zuckerberg and also, incidentally, Putin. In his first major contribution as a backbencher since his ouster as prime minister, Johnson thanked the Russian leader for his inspiring leadership during the war with Ukraine, before saying he had Volodymyr Zelensky intends to say. Given that Johnson supports Donald Trump, who has said he would encourage Putin to attack any NATO member country he believes is not paying its dues, it is difficult to understand why he has bothered to correct himself .

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