Steerpike Steerpike

Will Fleet Street back Boris?

Photo by Dan Kitwood/Getty Images

As the man who quite literally wrote the book on Churchill, Boris Johnson will be all too keen to encourage talk of a comeback. There’s much excited talk in the corridors of power about whether the former premier really can mount a comeback, just four months after leaving in disgrace. Lists of MPs are being circulated, with Johnson needing 100 MPs by Monday to get on the ballot. Can the king of the comebacks do it once more?

One place where Johnson certainly has his fans is on Fleet Street, where he’s provided more than his fair share of copy over the years. Much of the (still powerful) right wing print press are virtually salivating at the prospect of Bojo’s return and a fantastically poisonous run-off against Rishi Sunak, the man who Johnson fans hold responsible for their hero’s downfall. The Daily Mail – the paper which did more than any other to get Truss into the final two – dubs it the ‘fight for the soul’ of the party while the Daily Express breathlessly asks ‘He couldn’t could he?’ The Sun meanwhile goes for ‘Bojo: I’ll be back’ in a reference to his ‘Hasta la vista baby’ comments at his final Commons session as PM.

Somehow Mr S suspects there won’t be such enthusiasm for a Truss restoration anytime soon. Will endorsements follow shortly? Steerpike looks forward to the Sunday papers with special relish this week…

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Steerpike is The Spectator's gossip columnist, serving up the latest tittle tattle from Westminster and beyond. Email tips to or message @MrSteerpike

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