The former Foreign Secretary has made an effort to reach out to a group of centrist Tory MPs, organised around Work and Pensions secretary Amber Rudd, according to reports. The group previously said they want to stop hard-Brexiteers, including Dominic Raab and Esther McVey, from becoming the next Prime Minister. However, they have not decided whether Mr Johnson will be included, according to The Times.
Boris Johnson, who is favourite to be the next Prime Minister, has faced criticism for supporting Theresa May’s Brexit deal after months of campaigning against it.
He has since said he will not support the agreement when it comes before Parliament for a fourth time in early June.
Mr Johnson will reportedly go on to endorse a mini-manifesto released by moderate ’one nation’ Tory MPs to get their support.
One MP in the group said it is plausible Amber Rudd assists Mr Johnson’s campaign if he offers her a big job, the Guardian reported.
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The source told the paper: “It’s really not a Stop Boris vehicle, if anything it is more Stop Raab.
“But it is not about the person; it is about the policies.
“There is no chance that all 60 MPs in the group will back the same person but there is a chance all 60 won’t back a certain person and it is far more likely that person will be Raab rather than Boris.”
“We’ve got to get the next phase of the Conservative party right.
“This is the prime minister who will take us into an election in 2020 or 2022 and that will determine how the next 10 years plays out.
“We want the most well-rounded candidate. If that’s Boris, it’s Boris.
“If it’s not, it’s not. This vehicle is intended to ensure the party stays relevant to the centre ground.”
A supporter of Johnson added to The Guardian: “He is a one nation Tory and always has been, and I think many of his colleagues see this.”