Boris Johnson’s unofficial biographer has ruled out a comeback by the former PM this year insisting it is “too early”. But investigative journalist Tom Bower, who authored Boris Johnson: The Gambler, suggested the charismatic 58-year-old could make a sensational return to Downing Street in 2026 or 2027.
Speculation is high over whether Mr Johnson, who was forced out of No 10 in September following a series of scandals including partygate, is planning a comeback.
There are suggestions the ex-prime minister could be eyeing up a return if the Tories face a wipeout in the local elections in May.
But Mr Bower dismissed the prospect of Mr Johnson re-entering Downing Street so soon, saying he “hasn’t shown any contrition and understanding why it went so wrong”.
The biographer told Express.co.uk: “I think he would like to come back. I think he has got some support.
“But I think the weaknesses are that the support isn’t strong enough and that he hasn’t shown any contrition and understanding why it went so wrong.
“I think he lacks realism. I think he just doesn’t understand the anger among Tories for having brought the party to the state it’s in. I think that’s the real problem for him.
“So I think it’s too early. I think he needs to go away for a few years.”
Mr Bower, who has also penned books on Tony Blair and Jeremy Corbyn, said after the next general election would be a more likely timeframe.
He said: “I think he’s got to wait until the outcome of the next election in 2026, 2027, when people have forgotten and he’s shown an understanding.
“The problem really is he’s got no vision to sell. At the moment, this year, what is he selling? What is the new vision that isn’t the old Boris Johnson that got us in the mess?
“He can only come back if he’s rethought what Boris Johnson stands for and what he offers. We can’t have more of the same, that got us into the mess in the first place.”
The Uxbridge and South Ruislip MP, who led the Tories to their biggest landslide in decades in 2019, sparked the latest comeback speculation with a speech at the Carlton Club in London on Tuesday where he was unveiling a portrait of himself.
The ex-PM, who is under investigation by the Privileges Committee on whether he misled the Commons with comments he made about the partygate saga, delivered a typically upbeat address extolling the achievements of his time in office but made no mention of his unceremonious ejection from No. 10.
Mr Johnson insisted the party can recover at the ballot box. He also pointed to his government’s record in delivering Brexit and rolling out the Covid vaccine faster than other countries.
And he insisted that voters would return to the Conservatives as the one party committed to cutting taxes and that “really believes in Brexit”.
Mr Johnson said: “When people realize this I think the political dynamic is going to change. There is no desire to vote for Keir Starmer, for Sir crasheroonie snoozefest.
“So never give in, keep fighting, keep backing the government – keep making the case for leveling up, for opportunities and for a dynamic low tax global Britain. That is how we will win again.”
It comes after Mr Johnson fueled speculation of a comeback with his farewell address outside 10 Downing Street with its reference to Cincinnatus, who was recalled from his farm to save ancient Rome from crisis.