Boris Johnson’s supporters met in Soho to discuss “party democracy” amid concerns Rishi Sunak could face an electoral “disaster” in May, a report has claimed. Around 40 Tories gathered at L’Escargot restaurant at 7pm on Wednesday and many of them were members of the main Bring Back Boris WhatsApp group.
Ex-Business Secretary Jacob Rees-Mogg attended the meeting alongside Southend MP James Duddridge and former MEP David Campbell-Bannerman.
Members of the House of Lords were due to attend but were delayed by votes in the upper chamber.
According to the Telegraph, one person at the meeting said it was a moment to “console each other – people are forlorn about what has happened” to Mr Johnson’s third leadership bid.
They added: “This was not the Gunpowder Plot happening.”
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A second claimed: “Boris loyalists are shell-shocked and they are looking for a solution to it next year.
“All scenarios were explored including whether he will return next year.”
Another person at the meeting told Express.co.uk: “It was more about party democracy and not specifically bringing back Boris. Although it was attended by Boris supporters.”
Despite speculation about Mr Johnson’s return, Mr Rees-Mogg told the ex-Prime Minister’s allies that they had to be loyal to Mr Sunak.
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Mr Johnson received 100 nominations needed to challenge Mr Sunak for the top job, according to 1922 Committee chair Sir Graham Brady.
However, he withdrew from the race over concerns about disunity in the Conservative Party under his leadership.