Boris Johnson and former finance minister Rishi Sunak were leading the potential contenders to replace British Prime Minister Liz Truss on Friday, with candidates canvassing support to become Conservative Party leader in a fast-tracked contest.
After Truss quit on Thursday, ending her six weeks in power, those who want to replace her were trying to find the 100 votes from Conservative lawmakers needed to run in a contest that the party hopes will reset its ailing fortunes.
With the Conservatives all but facing a wipe out in the next national election according to opinion polls, the race is on to become the fifth British premier in six years.
The winner will be announced on either Monday or Friday next week. read more
In what would be an extraordinary comeback, Johnson, who was ousted by lawmakers just over three months ago, was running high up the ranks alongside Sunak to be crowned the next prime minister.
"I think he's got that proven track record to turn around things. He can turn it around again. And I'm sure my colleagues hear that message loud and clear," Conservative lawmaker Paul Bristow said of Johnson on LBC radio.
"Boris Johnson is the character the Labour Party fears, Boris Johnson can win the next general election," he said.
Johnson, who left office comparing himself to a Roman dictator brought into power twice to fend off crises, might face difficulty in reaching the 100 votes after his three-year tenure was blighted by scandals and allegations of misconduct.
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