Boris doesn’t have enough Tory MP backing - but this is still a bombshell

Boris Johnson has dramatically quit as an MP. Credit: PA

Boris Johnson's biggest problem when it comes to any hopes of a political comeback is that he doesn't have the support of enough Conservative MPs.

They ousted him as leader and it is fairly likely that they would have voted in favour of the Privileges Committee recommendation to kick him out of Parliament for more than ten days. 

That would trigger a by-election in Uxbridge and South Ruislip - a London, marginally remain supporting seat, which he would have struggled to hold. 

He obviously feels he can't let that happen. 

He certainly wants to stir up the idea of standing in Nadine Dorries seat of Mid Bedfordshire - his spokesman declined to comment when I put it to him last night - but he's up against the Conservative Party headquarters on that, who insisted to me last night that "a local candidate is very, very important". 

I know MPs who wouldn't put it past him and who agree with his analysis that Rishi Sunak hasn't brought about any recovery in the Tories poll deficit. But last night it was sounding unlikely. 

Besides, the Privileges Committee will publish their report early next week and I'm told it's going to be damning with - they think - strong evidence that he misled Parliament. 

One Tory MP rang me saying they were genuinely emotional about the committee's finding. They said they were "so, so proud" of the members, saying this was not a 'kangaroo court', but "democracy action". 

They pointed out it was a Tory majority and said members had come under immense and unacceptable pressure. 

Mr Johnson's supporters disagree on this. One told me they felt the Tories on the Privileges Committee just hated him and that Partygate was already done. But I think more Tories now just want the psychodrama to end. 

But even if he doesn't make a comeback, Mr Johnson has thrown a grenade in with his attack on Mr Sunak - not least given members of the Tory party didn't vote for the PM and have been big supporters of his predecessor. 

He had accused him of losing sight of Conservative policy, of not doing enough on growth or tax cuts and of failing to live up to the 2019 manifesto. It's a brutal attack. 

Meanwhile, the honours go through - although without Ms Dorries or Alok Sharma - and the Covid inquiry gets underway with the government still refusing to hand over Mr Johnson's unredacted notes - or hand them to him. They say the diaries belong to the government. 

With the Privileges Committee meeting on Monday and then the Covid inquiry getting underway on Tuesday expect an electric week.

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