Boris Johnson's plane lands back in the UK
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Boris Johnson’s mooted return to No. 10 would send financial markets into a tailspin at a time when Britain is facing an economic meltdown, a financial analyst has warned. Mr Johnson who yesterday returned to Britain from his holiday in Dominican Republic – is understood to be ready to throw his hat into the ring after Prime Minister Liz Truss quit as Tory leader on Thursday.
In order to make a sensational return to the job after resigning under a cloud in July, Mr Johnson will need to beat Rishi Sunak, his former Chancellor, whose resignation in the summer was a major contributory factor in his downfall – although the 42-year-old has yet to declare himself a candidate officially.
If the former London Mayor succeeds, it would mark a remarkable comeback – but Nigel Green, CEO and founder of financial advisory company deVere Group, said the associated risks were enormous in a scathing assessment of the Tory MP for Uxbridge and Ruislip.
He explained: “The Second Coming of Boris Johnson would receive the wrath of already jittery financial markets.
“It was the markets’ horrified reaction to Liz Truss’s disastrous mini-budget that forced her to resign after just 45 days in office.
“The pound hit historic lows against the dollar, gilt yields jumped, and stock markets fell. The mortgage market, the pension market, the housing market, amongst others, all took a battering.
“We can expect to see the same kind of market carnage should Boris Johnson take back the keys to Number 10.”’
Mr Green highlighted a number of areas of concern for investors when they considered the impact of the Tories reinstalling Mr Johnson as their leader and hence as PM.
He explained: “First, he could unpick the stabilising work being done by the new Chancellor Jeremy Hunt, who is desperately trying to repair the immense economic damage inflicted by the Truss administration.
“Second, the ex-PM is still under investigation by the Privileges Committee for potentially lying to Parliament.
“If found guilty of misleading the House, Johnson could be suspended and face a by-election and the country will be choosing another Prime Minister in January.
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“Third, this is the man who was forced to go only a few months ago after more than 50 Members of Parliament resigned from his own government within 48 hours. They deemed him unfit for office.”
He added: “All of this – plus the fact he broke the law and was fined over Partygate, broke electoral law, broke the ministerial code, and failed to turn up for emergency COBRA meetings, amongst other matters – means he cannot be the unifying, stabilising force.
“It all creates more massive uncertainty which markets loathe. Right now market confidence is critical.
“For everything he has come to represent in recent times, Boris Johnson’s return will spook financial markets and create yet more economic turmoil in the UK.”
Tory leadership candidates have until 2pm on Monday to win the backing of at least 100 MPs.
The BBC has calculated Mr Sunak has 127, Mr Johnson 53 and Penny Mordaunt 23.
Mr Johnson’s supporters are claiming he too has hit the 100 MP threshold, but the Sunak camp is sceptical, calling for proof.
If two or more candidates are nominated, Conservative Party members will be asked to vote online, with the winner announced on Friday.
One high-profile figure who will not be backing Mr Johnson is International Trade Secretary Kemi Badenoch, who yesterday confirmed she was supporting Mr Sunak.
Ms Badenoch, herself a leadership contender after Mr Johnson’s resignation, tweeted: “The party needs a unifying figure to do what’s right for the UK. At this moment, I believe that person is Rishi.
“I’m a fan of Boris but his return, given all that’s happened, would not bring people together.
“We all need to set aside our differences and work for the greater good.”
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