Bassetlaw MP Brendan Clarke-Smith calls for Boris Johnson comeback after Truss quits

Brendan Clarke-Smith says Boris Johnson would 'bring people together'. Credit: @Bren4Bassetlaw

A Conservative MP has called for Boris Johnson to return as Prime Minister, saying: "You don't know what you've got till it's gone".

Brendan Clarke-Smith, the MP for Bassetlaw, said he was "disappointed" that Liz Truss had resigned, but added that the country now needed a prime minister who could "raise spirits and bring people together".

"There is only one person who can do that. I know he's on holiday with his family at the moment," he said. "I would please ask Boris Johnson to stand."

Mr Clarke-Smith, who was among the Tory MPs who won seats from Labour in the so-called "Red Wall" constituencies in 2019, said Mr Johnson had a mandate from the electorate and widespread support in the Conservative Party.

  • Brendan Clarke-Smith tells ITV News Boris Johnson should return as PM

"There are a lot of people calling for him to come back and I don't think people in Westminster realise the groundswell of support that's there in the rest of the country," he said.

"They say you don't know what you've got until it's gone sometimes and I think this is the time for him to come back."

His comments came just hours after Ms Truss stood outside Downing Street to announce that she was leaving office, only 45 days after winning the Tory leadership contest.

Her resignation followed weeks of turmoil prompted by former Chancellor Kwasi Kwarteng's mini-budget.

That followed Mr Johnson's own departure after overwhelming pressure from MPs and a wave of resignations from his cabinet ministers.

But Mr Clarke-Smith is not alone in calling for his return, with the former prime minister understood to be considering another run at the top job.

Mr Johnson still has allies within the party, with former Culture Secretary Nadine Dorries saying that were Liz Truss to stand down, the next leader should be Mr Johnson or "a general election."

A shortened Conservative leadership contest will now take place, with a new prime minister chosen by the end of next week.

Sir Graham Brady, the chairman of the Conservative party's 1922 Committee which oversees leadership changes, has announced that candidates must get the support of 100 MPs to stand in the election.

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