Boris did have enough backers to take on Sunak

Boris Johnson believes Tories can win next General Election

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Boris Johnson could have mounted a serious challenge to Rishi Sunak in the wake of Liz Truss’s resignation, Sir Graham Brady has said – providing the exact nimber of MPs who backed him in his bid. And the chairman of the powerful 1922 Committee of backbench Tory MPs has admitted he wishes Mr Sunak had faced a challenger rather than being elected unopposed.

Mr Johnson resigned as PM in the summer – but was tipped for a sensational comeback after Ms Truss quit within weeks.

Sir Graham told GB News’s Speaking to Camilla Tominey today: “We verified that he had the numbers.

“His team asked us to do that and confirm that they had 110 parliamentary party members nominating him, so he could have gone forward – he chose not to.

“Now I’m afraid in any election, if you end up with one candidate, that person is duly elected, that is a democratic process as long as the arrangements for the election allow fair and free nomination of other people. We did.”

Sir Graham continued: “My view both as a long-standing Conservative MP and as chairman of the motion to interview committee, I want Conservative Party leaders, especially Prime Ministers to succeed in office.

“I don’t want to see these situations arise where people feel the need to step aside.

“Obviously, if everything is going well, they don’t.

“So, I would prefer that we hadn’t had those circumstances arise.”

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