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‘There’s no place like home,’ insists Boris Johnson amid leadership plots

Boris Johnson has insisted there is ‘no place like home’ as he prepares to return from a week-long trip abroad over plots to kill him. ousted from Downing Street.

The Prime Minister said he was delighted to travel from Madrid to the UK on Thursday after being abroad for the double by-election defeat which triggered the Cabinet’s resignation.

He did not rule out an early general election, but insisted that an early poll before the next vote due in 2024 “didn’t cross my mind”.

(PA graphics)

(PA graphics)

Mr Johnson’s authority was further damaged by the loss of the Tory stronghold of Tiverton and Honiton to the Liberal Democrats and Wakefield to Labor last week.

Tory rebels are considering changing the 1922 committee rules of backbenchers to allow for another vote of no confidence within the next year.

Oliver Dowden resigned as co-chairman of the Conservative Party following devastating by-election results which landed as Mr Johnson was 4,000 miles away in the Rwandan capital of Kigali for a Commonwealth summit.

As MPs plotted, the prime minister flew to Germany for the G7 summit and then to Spain for the NATO meeting.

Asked if he was looking forward to returning to Britain after eight days away, he told a press conference: “Yeah, I can’t tell you how much I’ve can’t wait to get… not that… it was wonderful to be here in Madrid, because I enjoyed being in Kigali and in Germany.

“But there’s no place like home – so I can’t wait to come back.”

Prime Minister Boris Johnson talks to reporters (Stefan Rousseau/PA)

(PA wire)

The Prime Minister has claimed he has a new term at Westminster after winning the confidence vote, although 41% of his own MPs decided he should go, and was asked if he would also ask a new mandate of the country.

Mr Johnson, a former journalist, told reporters accompanying him on the trip to the NATO summit in Madrid: “You know what, I realized where I was wrong with all of this.

“I have to admit that years and years ago I used to do the kind of work that you all do now, and it was a very good life and a great privilege.

“What you are able to do is offer opinions, commentary, analysis, predictions about politics, about individuals, etc.

“I think I have to admit that I am no longer a member of this sacred guild.

“It would be a boundary dispute for me to cross over and start talking politics.

“I have to talk about my program for government, politics and what I’m doing to move the country forward.”

When asked if he ruled out a snap election, he replied: “I’m just saying I don’t comment on that stuff.”

He added: “The idea hadn’t occurred to me, if you really want the truth, because I’m focused on managing cost of living pressures, developing and improving, expanding, our plan for a stronger economy, and ensuring that we continue to provide leadership on some of the difficult global issues facing the world.”

When asked if he was leaning towards a snap election, he replied: “I’m not commenting, what I’m trying to get across to you is that I’m here to comment on politics, the government agenda.

His comments came as The Times reported that staff at Conservative Party headquarters had played war on calling a snap election if Labor leader Sir Keir Starmer was forced to resign following the probe. Durham Police over alleged breaches of coronavirus rules.