Who is backing Boris Johnson in the Conservative leadership race?

The candidates being backed by their fellow MPs for the Tory party leadership contest. Credit: PA

After the departure of Prime Minister Liz Truss, Conservative MPs hoping to replace her now have until 2pm on Monday 21 October to get the backing of 100 of their colleagues.

Former chancellor Rishi Sunak has announced his bid to replace Liz Truss as prime minister, just six weeks after she beat him to the top job.

Penny Mordaunt, the current Leader of the House, has also put herself forward for leadership.

She said, "I’ve been encouraged by support from colleagues who want a fresh start, a united party and leadership in the national interest."I’m running to be the leader of the Conservative Party and your Prime Minister - to unite our country, deliver our pledges and win the next GE."

But former Prime Minister Boris Johnson are being widely backed to run too.

Midlands MPs haven't held back in making their preferences clear.

'I'm backing Boris'

Nadhim Zahawi has formally announced he is backing the former PM to take the top job again.

But he was actually one of those calling for his resignation not long ago.

The Stratford-upon-Avon MP had told Boris Johnson to quit because “the country deserves…a government which acts with integrity.”

Now he says "Britain needs him back".

'Bring back Boris'

One of the first to publicly back a controversial come-back by former Prime Minister Boris Johnson was the Peterborough MP Paul Bristow, saying, "the message of 'Bring back Boris' is "loud and clear" in his constituency.

When asked about the scandals that Mr Johnson faced during his time at No 10, Mr Bristow said: "I think we need a proven election winner. And the only person that I could see that could win us back those seats is Boris Johnson."

Mr Johnson is said to be flying back to the UK today, just six weeks after he left No 10 for the final time, forced out by his own MPs.

'Come back Boss. The country needs you'

Marco Longhi, the MP for Dudley North, wrote on Twitter "Come back Boss. The country needs you, you've had a long enough break."

He wrote, "The only person who has a mandate from the general public, is Boris Johnson MP.

"He is the only person that commands that authority given to him by the public at a General Election."He is the only person who can discharge the mandate from the people. Please come back Boss."

  • ITV Central reporter Lewis Warner asks Mr Longhi why he is backing Mr Johnson

Similar views have been echoed by Jane Hunt, the MP for Loughborough, saying she's "backing Boris" and Amanda Milling who represents Cannock Chase.

Boris Johnson often insisted the Government was ‘following the science’ during the pandemic Credit: Toby Melville/PA

In nearby Lichfield, Michael Fabricant has revealed on Twitter that he wrote a letter several days ago to the Chairman of the 1922 committee, pre-empting Truss's departure. He wrote,

"The only person who has legitimacy, in my view, to replace her [Liz Truss] as Prime Minister and who supported Brexit is Boris Johnson.

"His legitimacy is born from the support of the membership of the Party and from being elected Prime Minister in a General Election"

On Saturday, Mr Fabricant later revealed he had formally nominated Mr Johnson for the job.

'Supporters felt let down'

Tom Pursglove, who represents Corby & East Northamptonshire, believes many people felt "let down" when Johnson "was removed and will arguably feel cheated again if he isn’t on the ballot. He writes that "He can legitimately see it through"

The West Bromwich MP Shaun Bailey shared this image, clearly showing where his allegiances lie.

If Boris Johnson does put his name forward, he is likely to find himself up against Rishi Sunak – the former chancellor who is blamed by Mr Johnson’s supporters for bringing him down.

Tonight, the most high profile backer of the former Chancellor is Sajid Javid, the Bromsgrove MP - himself a former Chancellor, Home Secretary and Health Secretary.

Rishi Sunak lost to Liz Truss in the last leadership contest in the summer Credit: Victoria Jones/PA

'Skills and experience'

The South Staffordshire MP Gavin Williamson has praised Sunak's "talent, integrity, and humility necessary to provide us with a fresh start and a steady hand" writing that "I am proud to support him."

Education Secretary Gavin Williamson has called on university bosses to help bring the country together Credit: PA

The Wyre Forest MP believes Sunak has the financial experience to deal with the current situation.

Similarly, the MP for Halesowen & Rowley Regis James Morris refers to his "skills and experience" to lead the country and praises his "calm and effective leadership to take us forward."

Jo Gideon, the MP for Stoke-on-Trent Central, is backing Sunak because of his support for the area as Chancellor.

Newark MP Robert Jenrick believes Sunak "will restore public confidence in our party and market confidence in our economy."He will unite Conservatives and lead our country with integrity, judgement and competence. "

Maggie Throup, the MP for Erewash, agrees that Sunak would "unite the party as well as bringing sound economics to our country."

Many are sticking with their preferences from the summer's campaign, including Andrew Bridgen, the MP for North West Leicestershire, who is backing Sunak, but Nigel Mills, the MP for Amber Valley is backing Sunak for the first time.

'Strong leadership'

The Leader of the House Penny Mordaunt, who ran against Liz Truss, is the first to publicly declare she is running.

Penny Mordaunt is running again Credit: Stefan Rousseau/PA

As she tweeted her decision, it was retweeted by Andrea Leadsom, the MP for South Northamptonshire, who said she was "delighted" with the decision.

Nicola Richards, the West Bromwich East MP, is backing Mordaunt again, calling her a unity candidate.

"I'm urging Penny to stand again - we need strong leadership with a real understanding of the challenges our constituents face at these uncertain times.

"I believe she is the candidate we can all unite behind."

Craig Tracey, the MP for North Warwickshire & Bedworth, is also backing Mordaunt, for "her strong leadership" and ability to "unite the party and country."

While Jesse Norman, the MP for Hereford and South Herefordshire hasn't revealed who he's backing, it's clear who he isn't.

"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."