EX-Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson is back in the running to be the next Tory leader as the party tries to win over angry Leave voters.
He has faced criticism from fellow Tory MPs in the past year after a string of provocative comments.
They included calling the Prime Minister’s Brexit deal a “suicide vest” and saying Muslim women who wear burkas “look like letter boxes”.
But senior figures now once more see him as the best candidate to take over from Theresa May when she steps down, Sun columnist James Forsyth reveals today. One source on Mr Johnson’s team says MPs are “petrified about their seats” and are prepared to swallow their doubts about him.
The thinking is that the Leave campaign figurehead is the best person to win back angry voters who could switch support to Ukip or Nigel Farage’s new Brexit Party over delays to Britain leaving the EU.
Mr Johnson has also beefed up his team ahead of any bid by hiring former junior minister James Wharton as an aide.
A senior Tory MP told The Sun that Mr Johnson will also benefit from the fact that the Eurosceptics still in the Cabinet — dubbed the Pizza Club — have failed to stand up to Mrs May over her failure to deliver Brexit.
He said: “If they had worked as a team and stood up to her they could get her out. All they are doing is eating pizza and staring at their toes.
“Boris Johnson and Dominic Raab are going to be the ones who benefit when it comes to the leadership race.”
Meanwhile, Home Secretary Sajid Javid will fuel leadership speculation next week with a major speech.
With most MPs off for Easter, he will attempt to seize the headlines by calling for a new approach to stopping the bloodshed on Britain’s streets.
In what may be seen as a sign of his desire to target the youth vote, Mr Javid has written a comment piece for website Joe, best known for its viral videos sending up politicians.
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Addressing readers directly, he wrote: “We cannot get away from the fact that young men in towns and cities across the country, many the age of Joe readers, seem to be increasingly more likely to take a knife with them when they leave home.
“People just like you or people you know. And I speak directly to them when I say this — there is another way.
“There is help. There is a life without violence.”
Senior party figures now once more see Boris as the best candidate to take over from Theresa May[/caption]
A source told The Sun that Mr Johnson will benefit from the fact that Cabinet Eurosceptics — dubbed the Pizza Club and led by Michael Gove — have failed to stand up to Mrs May[/caption]
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