Boris Johnson poised for return to Downing Street in 2023

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

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Boris Johnson has been tipped to return to Downing Street in 2023 by a former minister and ally. Speaking to BBC Newsnight, Stephen Greenhalgh argued that this year will also see a decline in public support for strikes, the stalling of NHS reform and an economic improvement.

He said: “First of all the great British public are going to get fed up with all these strikes .

“We’re going to see the unions lose support and eventually there will be some form of deal.

“You don’t have to have beer and sandwiches in number 10 to sort that out.

“We’re going to see NHS reforms stalling because we’re in the back end of the Parliament.

“The big structural stuff will have to wait for a new Parliament and a new mandate.

“I don’t think the economy will be as bad as people say.

“I think we’re going to see the economy rebound this year.

“And finally I think this man Johnson will return.

“We’ll see the return of Boris.”

However, the potential return of Mr Johnson to number 10 has not been met with universal acclaim by Tory politicians past and present.

Writing in the Independent, 2005 leadership contender David Davis said that another change of leader before the next general election would condemn the Conservatives to defeat.

Thatcher-era veteran Matthew Parris has vowed to stand against Mr Johnson should he be parachuted into a safe seat in northern England by Tory grandees rather than stand again in his current Uxbridge & South Ruislip seat that he is widely expected to lose at the next general election.

However, one Conservative MP told the i that Mr Johnson could return if Prime Minister Rishi Sunak is unable to turn around the party’s current poor polling.

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They said: “Looking ahead to 2023, there are two things that are absolutely critical in terms of how Boris plays it – firstly in terms of the Covid inquiry, he needs to clear that hurdle. The second factor will be to see how Rishi is doing in the opinion polls.

“If the opinion polls indicate a Tory loss [in 2024], then the natural instinct for self-survival will kick in and if that means Boris, then some people will take a deep breath and say ‘so be it’ – even if they are against him now.

“It will be a choice of government or opposition. If he can overcome the hurdle of the inquiry and if the polls are low [for the Tories], there is no one else with his personality who can deliver a victory.

“There will be enough MPs who will put their past allegiances aside, and if they feel he is the only one who can deliver, then Boris is back in business and he will be best placed to take us into the next election.

“He certainly had the numbers [in October] and had he stood he would have almost certainly won the members’ ballot.

“There was a significant number of people who would not have voted for Rishi on the basis that he played a role in bringing Boris down.”

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