Boris Johnson is racing back from a Caribbean holiday following the resignation of Liz Truss yesterday, having served just 44 days in office.
According to the Telegraph, the former Prime Minister is scrambling to get back to London, as allies are encouraging him to enter the race to replace Truss next week.
The paper understands that a group of loyal allies led by Nigel Adams, a minister in Mr Johnson’s administration, were canvassing MPs for support on Thursday.
A source told The Telegraph Johnson "...needs to get back pronto...He needs to be schmoozing in overdrive."
Sir James Duddridge, Conservative MP for Rochford and Southend East, tweeted: “I hope you enjoyed your holiday boss. Time to come back. Few issues at the office that need addressing” while adding the hashtag ‘bring back Boris’.
Supporters of Boris Johnson are backing the former prime minister to make an extraordinary political comeback, while ex-chancellor Rishi Sunak and Commons Leader Penny Mordaunt also have the public support of several MPs, should they choose to run.
Having been forced out of office just six weeks ago after a series of scandals, a return to Number 10 would be a divisive move for the Conservatives. Some MPs have said they would resign the whip and sit as independents rather than serve under Mr Johnson.
But his supporters argue that he alone of the potential candidates to be the new prime minister has won a general election and has a mandate from the British public.
In order to do so, however, he will need to secure the nominations of 100 of the party’s 357 MPs – a target which some at Westminster believe may be beyond him.
Business Secretary Jacob Rees-Mogg became the first Cabinet member to back Mr Johnson as a potential successor to Ms Truss on Friday morning, tweeting a graphic that said “I’m Backing Boris” alongside the hashtag ‘#BORISorBUST’.
Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer, who called for an immediate general election, said the potential return of a man deemed “unfit for office” by his own MPs “adds insult to injury” for voters.
For critics, a comeback would be particularly problematic as Mr Johnson still faces an investigation by the Commons Privileges Committee over claims he lied to Parliament about lockdown parties in Downing Street, which could potentially see him expelled as an MP.a