Boris 'doesn't want to resign' and 'wishes he could carry on' as PM, says Tory peer

25 July 2022, 21:42 | Updated: 26 July 2022, 00:51

Boris does not want to step down as PM, a Tory peer has said.
Boris does not want to step down as PM, a Tory peer has said. Picture: Alamy

By Emma Soteriou

Boris Johnson "does not want to resign" and "wished that he could carry on" as Prime Minister, a Tory peer has said.

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Lord Cruddas of Shoreditch, a former Conservative Party treasurer, said the comments were made to him by Mr Johnson over lunch at Chequers on Friday.

The peer is running a campaign to give Tory party members a vote on whether to accept Mr Johnson's resignation as leader.

But Downing Street responded by insisting Mr Johnson will leave the post when a new Tory leader is chosen in September.

Read more: Voters think Sunak would be better PM than Truss, new poll shows

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Lord Cruddas told the Telegraph: "There was no ambiguity in Boris's views. He definitely does not want to resign. He wants to carry on and he believes that, with the membership behind him, he can."

The peer added: "Boris thanked me for my 'Boris on the ballot' campaign. He said he was enjoying following it and he wished me well. He said he could understand the membership's anger at what had happened.

"He said that he wished that he could carry on as Prime Minister. He said he does not want to resign."

The paper said Mr Johnson, when asked by the peer if he would "wipe away" his resignation immediately with "a magic wand", reportedly replied: "I would wipe away everything that stops me being PM in a second."

Lord Cruddas, who said 10,000 party members have backed the campaign, added: "He wants to carry on to finish the job. He wants to fight the next general election as leader of the Conservative Party."

However, No10 said: "The Prime Minister has resigned as party leader and set out his intention to stand down as PM when the new leader is in place."

In his final appearance at Prime Minister's Questions, Mr Johnson said "mission largely accomplished, for now" before signing-off by telling MPs: "Hasta la vista, baby."

The Spanish term "hasta la vista" translates to "see you later", but "hasta la vista, baby" is the catchphrase of Arnold Schwarzenegger's cyborg character in the 1991 movie Terminator 2: Judgment Day.

Mr Johnson's comments left the door open for a possible comeback, with the Terminator also known for the catchphrase: "I'll be back."

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