Next UK prime minister - latest: Boris Johnson backed by third cabinet minister - amid push to stop Liz Truss issuing resignation honours list or receiving £115,000 lifetime allowance (2022)

Key points
  • Three candidates emerge for Tory leadership race
  • Beth Rigby:There are obstacles in his way, but Johnson could be back in Number 10 by Friday
  • Is Boris Johnson going to run?
  • Influential cabinet minister Ben Wallace 'leaning' towards backing Johnson - after Rees-Mogg declared his support for former PM
  • Tories fall to 'lowest level of support in British polling history'
  • Liz Truss is the shortest serving PM in British history
  • Keir Starmer calls for general election| And tells Truss to forgo £115,000 lifetime allowance
  • Live reporting by Tim Baker and Faith Ridler

10:45:02

15:14:57

There are many obstacles in his way, but Johnson could be back in Number 10 by Friday

It would be the mother of all political comebacks, but take it in: Boris Johnson is heading back from the Caribbean - I'm told he's expected to be arriving tomorrow - to plot a possible return to Number 10 four months after he was kicked out by his own MPs. As he makes his way back to London, parliamentary allies are trying to drum up support.

One figure in the Johnson camp told me he's not going to press go on any bid until he's sure he has the numbers, and the Tory MPs of the European Research Group will be key. The couple of dozen MPs in this group on the right of the party, who backed Liz Truss for leader, are now split on what to do next.

Suella Braverman is the choice for some but is highly unlikely to garner wider party support. As for Rishi Sunak or Penny Mordaunt, they are certainly not this group's cup of tea, which leaves the ERG politically homeless unless they fall in behind the man they supported in 2019 - Boris Johnson.

With 36 backers at the time of writing, a big chunk of the ERG support would certainly add to Mr Johnson's hopes of getting across the nomination line. But, with around 60 MPs resigning from his government only four months ago, it goes without saying that a return of Mr Johnson would be explosive for a party already in total disarray.

As one former minister Jesse Norman tweeted in response to growing Johnson momentum on Friday: "There are several very good potential candidates for Conservative leader. But choosing Boris now would be — and I say this advisedly — an absolutely catastrophic decision."

But for his supporters, Mr Johnson is the one with the mandate and the party's best hope. When I put it to one of them that it would be messy to stick the man back in who had recently been kicked out, they admitted "it's not easy" but also said: "He'll bring a message of humility. The point is that we are not united, but he will try to unite and show contrition."

I was also told he'd take a "change in approach" and want to put forward a "unity cabinet" taking in different wings of the party.

But there are obvious obstacles, not least the fact that back in June 148 MPs from his own party voted to say they had no confidence in him, raising the question - again - as to whether Mr Johnson can even begin to manage the party (Johnsonites tell me Sunak has the same problem with them by the way).

He also faces the threat of being suspended as an MP due to an investigation by the Commons privileges committees into whether he lied to Parliament over lockdown parties.

If he's found guilty, he could face a suspension from Parliament and a possible recall vote in his Uxbridge and South Ruislip seat. But, as one cabinet minister told me earlier today, there's a good chance he hits the threshold, while a party members poll this week put him as the preferred choice. Mr Johnson could be back in Number 10 by the end of next week.

14:49:34

Tory MP says it was a 'mistake' not to back Sunak in first round

Nigel Mills, the MP for Amber Valley, said it was a "mistake" for him not to back Rishi Sunak during the summer's leadership contest.

He said the former chancellor would be his choice to replace the outgoing prime minister.

Mr Mills said: "A few weeks ago I changed my mind and didn't back Rishi Sunak.

"I'm not making the same mistake again, he is clearly the prime minister we need to restore stability and tackle the many serious challenges facing the country."

14:41:37

Bookies odds reveal favourite to be next PM

The odds of Boris Johnson becoming the next prime minister are shortening rapidly.

It comes as three cabinet ministers announced their support for Mr Johnson (2.06pm).

Rishi Sunak still remains the market's favourite, while Penny Mordaunt appears to be falling behind.

14:30:38

Suspension of Liz Truss aide lifted

The suspension of one of Liz Truss's aides has been lifted.

Jason Stein was placed on leave on Wednesday during a probe into hostile briefings against Sajid Javid.

But today a Number 10 spokesperson said: "The investigation has concluded and the suspension has ended."

14:21:01

Liberal Democrats call for Liz Truss not to be allowed resignation honours list

The Liberal Democrats are calling for Liz Truss to be barred from having a resignation honours list.

The party's chief whip, Wendy Chamberlain, has written to the chair of the parliamentary political service committee and the chair of the House of Lord's appointments commission.

She said: "As you know, it is traditional upon a prime minister's departure from office for them to issue a 'resignation honours’ list. This list signifies individuals who are to be rewarded with an honour from the King which, in turn, would be considered by your committee.

"However, because of the unprecedented circumstances surrounding Liz Truss's tenure and resignation, I am writing to urge you and the committee to reject any resignation honours list put forward by her."

In an announcement, Ms Chamberlain added: "Handing out more expensive gongs to Conservative allies would be a truly remarkable way to reward the shortest tenure as prime minister in British political history.

"Truss and her Conservative colleagues have trashed our economy and left millions in misery. We are faced with the horrifying prospect that those who are selected for honours will be the very people who helped plunge the country into chaos and crisis.

"Allowing Truss to dish out positions of influence, and huge handouts to boot, would be a disgraceful waste of taxpayer money and show a stunning lack of humility."

14:06:35

Third cabinet minister backs Johnson

Simon Clarke, the levelling up secretary, has revealed he will back Boris Johnson if he decides to run for the Conservative leadership, the Telegraph reports.

Mr Clarke, who is a key ally of Liz Truss, made this announcement in a joint statement with Ben Houchen, Tees Valley Mayor.

It comes after Ben Wallace said he was "leaning towards" Mr Johnson - and Jacob Rees-Mogg declared his support for the former prime minister.

Mr Clarke and Mr Houchen said: "Boris is the person we need to lead our country and our party.

"He won the greatest election victory for years on a mandate to unite and level up the UK, and inspired millions of people who had never voted Conservative before to get behind a generous, optimistic vision of what Britain can be."

13:34:45

Cost of government borrowing creeping up with news Johnson may be running

The cost of government borrowing is creeping up slightly, amid the growing support for Boris Johnson to be the next prime minister, according to economics and data editor Ed Conway.

A rising cost of borrowing was part of the financial maelstrom that led to the junking of Liz Truss's mini-budget.

Conway said that while it was "tempting to dismiss these market moves as academic", they contributed to interest rates that people pay.

13:30:49

Former cabinet minister backs Sunak for next Tory leader

George Eustice, who was environment secretary under Boris Johnson, has confirmed he will be backing Rishi Sunak in next week's leadership contest.

No candidates have yet put themselves forward for the race, but it is widely expected that Mr Sunak will do so shortly.

Penny Mordaunt and Mr Johnson have also already gained a backing.

Mr Eustice said: "I'm going to be backing Rishi Sunak in this contest. I think in the leadership campaign over the summer, he won in all of the exchanges that took place in hustings.

"As far as I can see, he had the biggest base of support within the parliamentary party, and we really need someone now who can unite the party, pull it together, but crucially, who's got the judgment to be a good prime minister to get those key decisions right, so that we can deal with some of the great challenges that the world faces."

13:25:00

'Bring back Boris, he's the man': Uxbridge residents back their MP

Rumours are circulating that Boris Johnson could join the race to be the next Conservative leader, months after resigning from the same post.

Today, Sky News spoke to people in Uxbridge, where Mr Johnson is an MP.

Asked about the prospect of his return, one man said: "Boris Johnson was actually the prime minister who took us out of Brexit, so I'm a big fan of Boris Johnson.

"I don't think we actually gave him a fair chance."

See more of what those in Uxbridge had to say in the clip below...

12:48:59

Boris Johnson as PM would be 'absolutely catastrophic decision' - Tory MP

Tory MP Jesse Norman says Boris Johnson returning as prime minister would be "an absolutely catastrophic decision".

He said: "There are several very good potential candidates for Conservative leader.

"But choosing Boris now would be — and I say this advisedly — an absolutely catastrophic decision."

FAQs

Who is new Prime Minister of UK? ›

The Rt Hon Rishi Sunak MP

Rishi Sunak became Prime Minister on 25 October 2022. He was previously appointed Chancellor of the Exchequer from 13 February 2020 to 5 July 2022.

Does the UK Prime Minister appoint the Cabinet? ›

In an executive capacity, the prime minister appoints (and may dismiss) all other Cabinet members and ministers, and co-ordinates the policies and activities of all government departments, and the staff of the Civil Service.

When did Boris take over from May? ›

Boris Johnson's term as the prime minister of the United Kingdom began on 24 July 2019 when he accepted Queen Elizabeth II's invitation to form a new administration, following the resignation of his predecessor Theresa May after Parliament's repeated rejections of her Brexit withdrawal agreement.

Who did Boris Johnson replace as Prime Minister? ›

Boris Johnson
The Right Honourable Boris Johnson MP Hon FRIBA
MonarchElizabeth II
DeputyDominic Raab
Preceded byTheresa May
Succeeded byLiz Truss
48 more rows

Who is in power in UK? ›

Government of the United Kingdom
His Majesty's Government
StateUnited Kingdom
LeaderPrime Minister (Rishi Sunak)
Appointed byMonarch of the United Kingdom (Charles III)
Main organCabinet of the United Kingdom
9 more rows

Is the UK a country? ›

The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland (UK) is an island country that sits north-west of mainland Europe. It is made up of mainland Great Britain (England, Wales and Scotland) and the northern part of the island of Ireland (Northern Ireland). It has numerous smaller islands.

Does the Queen have power over the prime minister? ›

As the keeper of the nation's Constitutional flame, the monarch can use said powers to appoint and dismiss ministers; to summon Parliament, and give royal assent to bills passed by Parliament.

How many terms can a prime minister serve? ›

There is no limit to the amount of time that somebody can be Prime Minister. A Prime Minister only stops being the Prime Minister if their party has a vote to change the leadership of their party, if their party does not win government at an election, or if they decide to resign as Prime Minister.

Does the House of Commons choose the prime minister? ›

Relationship with His Majesty's Government

Although the House of Commons does not formally elect the prime minister, by convention and in practice, the prime minister is answerable to the House, and therefore must maintain its support.

Who is shortest serving Prime Minister? ›

Liz Truss is the shortest-serving former prime minister, resigning after seven weeks following a government crisis. The previous shortest time served was George Canning, who served for less than four months before dying in office.

Who stood against Boris? ›

2019 Conservative Party leadership election
CandidateBoris JohnsonJeremy Hunt
Fifth MPs' ballot160 (51.3%)77 (24.7%)
Members' vote92,153 (66.4%)46,656 (33.6%)
1 more row

How long has the Tory party been in power? ›

It has been the primary governing party in Britain since 2010. The party is on the centre-right of the political spectrum, and encompasses various ideological factions including one-nation conservatives, Thatcherites, and traditionalist conservatives.

Is Liz Truss a conservative? ›

Mary Elizabeth Truss (born 26 July 1975) is a British politician who served as Prime Minister of the United Kingdom and Leader of the Conservative Party from September to October 2022.

When did the Brexit happen? ›

Who replaced David Cameron? ›

Cameron supported continued membership; following the success of the Leave vote, he resigned as prime minister and was succeeded by Theresa May.

Can the Queen declare war without Parliament? ›

Constitutional convention requires that the declaration of war or commitment of British armed forces is authorised by the Prime Minister on behalf of the Crown. Parliament has no official constitutional role in the process.

Can the Queen take control of the country? ›

Her Majesty (the Sovereign in particular) is the ultimate authority in the United Kingdom and rules over the nation as well as parliament through the Royal Prerogative*, which are powers that are used according to the laws enacted in Parliament or within the confines of precedent and convention.

Does the Queen have any power? ›

As nominal leader of the United Kingdom from 1952 to 2022—the country's longest-serving monarch—she exerted influence felt the world over. But despite such enormous impact, the Queen held no real power in British government—and nor does her successor, King Charles III.

How many countries are still under British rule? ›

The British Commonwealth is the former name of the Commonwealth of Nations, a 54-member humanitarian coalition of countries.
...
List of Commonwealth Realms:
Antigua and BarbudaAustraliaBahamas
Saint Kitts and NevisSaint LuciaSaint Vincent and the Grenadines
Solomon IslandsTuvalu
2 more rows

Why is Ireland Not in the UK? ›

The War of Independence resulted in a truce in July 1921 and led to the Anglo-Irish Treaty that December. Under the Treaty, the territory of Southern Ireland would leave the UK and become the Irish Free State.

How much of the UK is built on? ›

They give a figure between 1.5%-2% of the UK is covered in buildings. This figure does not include larger gardens or other 'green urban' spaces, but can give us another idea of the amount of the UK that is build on.

› news › the-rise-and-fall-of-u... ›

Johnson started out as a reporter before becoming mayor of London, foreign secretary and eventually prime minister.
The prime minister of the United Kingdom is the head of government of the United Kingdom. The prime minister advises the sovereign on the exercise of much of th...

Prime Minister

https://www.gov.uk › government › ministers › prime-mi...
https://www.gov.uk › government › ministers › prime-mi...
Prime Minister ; Political career. Rishi was elected Conservative MP for Richmond (Yorks) in May 2015 and served as a Parliamentary Private Secretary at the Dep...

Who is the current Prime Minister? ›

The Prime Minister, Shri Narendra Modi has praised 106-year-old Shyam Saran Negi, for exercising his right to franchise for the 34th time.

What is the salary of UK Prime Minister? ›

Salary of the Prime Minister
DateEntitlementClaimed
1 Apr 2017£153,907£151,451
1 Apr 2018£155,602£152,819
1 Apr 2019£158,754£154,908
1 Apr 2020£161,866£157,372
12 more rows

Who is the longest serving Prime Minister? ›

The prime minister with the longest single term was Robert Walpole, lasting 20 years and 315 days from 3 April 1721 until 11 February 1742. This is also longer than the accumulated terms of any other prime minister.

Why did Cameron resign? ›

To fulfil a manifesto pledge, he introduced a referendum on the UK's continuing membership of the EU. Cameron supported continued membership; following the success of the Leave vote, he resigned as prime minister and was succeeded by Theresa May. Cameron has been the president of Alzheimer's Research UK since 2017.

How can Prime Minister be removed? ›

Tenure and removal from office

The term of a prime minister can end before the end of a Lok Sabha's term, if a simple majority of its members no longer have confidence in him/her, this is called a vote-of-no-confidence.

How many terms can a Prime Minister serve? ›

There is no limit to the amount of time that somebody can be Prime Minister. A Prime Minister only stops being the Prime Minister if their party has a vote to change the leadership of their party, if their party does not win government at an election, or if they decide to resign as Prime Minister.

How much does the prime minister make? ›

4.1 (1) Despite subsection 4(1), for the fiscal year commencing on April 1, 2004 the Prime Minister's annual salary is $141,200.

What is the highest paid jobs in the UK? ›

43 Highest Paid Jobs in the UK in 2022
  • Chief Executive Officer. Average Salary – £77,711. ...
  • Entrepreneur. Average Salary – £101,000. ...
  • Chief Financial Officer. Average Salary – £97,646. ...
  • Lawyer. Average Salary – £48,414. ...
  • Orthodontist. Average Salary – £77,757. ...
  • Information Technology Manager. ...
  • Cybersecurity Specialist. ...
  • Accountant.

How much does a dentist earn in the UK? ›

A Dentist in the UK earns about GBP 84 per hour. Further, the average hourly salary of an NHS dentist is GBP 25.03 per hour. While entry-level dentists can earn up to GBP 2,275 per year, as experience and skill increase they can earn in excess of GBP 87,000 per year.

What is the average salary in the UK? ›

What is the Average UK Salary in 2021/2022? According to the ONS, in 2021 the average UK salary was £38,131 for a full-time role and £13,549 for a part-time role.

Who is the most famous British prime minister? ›

Winston Churchill is generally considered one of the greatest prime ministers for his leadership during the Second World War.

Who is the shortest serving prime minister UK? ›

Liz Truss is the shortest-serving former prime minister, resigning after seven weeks following a government crisis. The previous shortest time served was George Canning, who served for less than four months before dying in office.

Who is the longest serving British prime minister of the 20th century? ›

Time in office: 11 Years, 208 Days

As well as being Prime Minister for longer than anyone else in the 20th Century, Margaret Thatcher was also the most controversial figure to hold the post.

When did UK voted to leave EU? ›

Cameron was succeeded by Theresa May on 13 July 2016. Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn also faced a leadership challenge as a result of the EU referendum. On 29 March 2017, the United Kingdom gave formal notice of intent to withdraw from the EU.

Why did Gordon Brown resign? ›

Brown remained prime minister while the Liberal Democrats entered separate negotiations with Labour and the Conservatives with a view to forming a coalition government. He announced his intention to resign on 10 May 2010 to help broker a Labour-Liberal Democrat deal.

Why did Margaret Thatcher resign? ›

She resigned as prime minister and party leader in 1990, after a challenge was launched to her leadership. After retiring from the Commons in 1992, she was given a life peerage as Baroness Thatcher (of Kesteven in the County of Lincolnshire) which entitled her to sit in the House of Lords.

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