A leading ally of departing Prime Minister Liz Truss has become the third cabinet minister to declare for Boris Johnson. Levelling-Up Secretary Simon Clarke joins Defence Secretary Ben Wallace and Business Secretary Jacob Rees-Mogg in getting behind a return to the top job for Mr Johnson less than 50 days since he left Downing Street.
With Ms Truss quitting yesterday after just 44 days in office following a collapse in support as a result of her mini-budget causing an economic crash, Mr Johnson has flown back to Britain with momentum gathering for an unlikely comeback.
As of writing 60 MPs had backed the recently deposed Prime Minister whose return to frontline politics is being likened to Napoleon’s historic return from exile in 1815.
The latest senior figure is Mr Clarke who said: “Boris is the person we need to lead our country and our party.
“He won the greatest election victory for years on a mandate to unite and level up the UK, and inspired millions of people who had never voted Conservative before to get behind a generous, optimistic vision of what Britain can be.”
Mr Clarke had backed Ms Truss in the last leadership election despite the fact that he had been previously Rishi Sunak’s deputy in the Treasury and Chief Secretary.
Now he has come out against Mr Sunak again who currently leads with 69 nomonations from MPs.
Meanwhile, a Sunak backer from the summer has also said he wants Boris Johnson back.
Teesside Mayor Ben Houchen said: “People on Teesside love Boris because he recognised that while talent is evenly distributed across the country, opportunity is not. Boris gave us that opportunity.
“Teesside has had difficult times and is now levelling up because of Boris. We know that for us, like Boris, the comeback will be greater than the setback.”
The moves are a sign that they believe only Mr Johnson can galvanise voters to help the Tories maintain their grip on Labour’s Red Wall.
The two issued a joint letter to the Telegraph in a sign of unity for the North East.
READ MORE: Boris already has 50 MP backers as momentum builds for comeback