It was only a few months ago that Boris Johnson was booted out of No 10 by Tory MPs after a three year premiership punctuated by scandals and poor governance.
Yet fast forward to the present day and a bevy of Conservative politicians have backed the former Mayor London to once again take the reins after Liz Truss’s resignation last week prompted a leadership contest.
Mr Johnson interrupted his holiday in the Carribbean to race back on Saturday to try and shore up support among backbenchers as he tries to beat former chancellor Rishi Sunak and Penny Mordaunt to Downing Street.
The Independent has taken a look at what some of Mr Johnson’s supporters are saying now and what they said only a few months ago…
Former chancellor Nadhim Zahawi resigned while Mr Johnson was prime minister and in his parting remarks urged him to “leave with dignity” and said that by staying he was “undermining the achievements of this government”.
In a tweet posted on Sunday, he said: I’m backing Boris. He got the big calls right, whether it was ordering more vaccines ahead of more waves of covid, arming early against the advice of some, or stepping down for the sake of unity. But now, Britain needs him back. We need to unite to deliver on our manifesto.
“When I was Chancellor, I saw a preview of what Boris 2.0 would look like. He was contrite & honest about his mistakes. He’d learned from those mistakes how he could run No10 & the country better. With a unified team behind him, he is the one to lead us to victory & prosperity”.
Dr Caroline Johnson, MP for Sleaford, and Jonathan Gullis, the MP for Stoke-on-Trent North, also quit their government roles while Mr Johnson was in No 10.
Dr Johnson told Times Radio she was backing Mr Johnson, despite tood down as Tory party vice chair on July 7 and saying that he should leave due to the “cumulative effect” of his “errors of judgement and domestic actions”.
And Mr Gullis, who quit as parliamentary private secretary on July 5, said the party was “more focused on dealing with our reputational damage rather than delivering for the people of this country.”
In a Facebook post on Friday, he said: “If he puts himself forward, Boris Johnson will have my support. I have had lots of people from across Stoke-on-Trent North, Kidsgrove and Talke telling me to bring back Boris!
“They voted for him and for his 2019 manifesto. Locally Boris has shown Stoke-on-Trent, Kidsgrove and Talke is forgotten no more.”
He added: “I hope Boris will come back, and if he wins, MPs unite behind him, putting our great country and its people first in these very challenging global times.”
Amanda Milling, MP for Cannock Chase, said in a tweet posted in July that Mr Johnson resigning was “the right thing to do as the damage to our party and country was getting too much”.
On Thursday, she tweeted: “As one of the original @BorisJohnson backers there is only one candidate who has a proven track record of delivery for the British people #BringBackBoris.”
Henry Smith, MP for Crawley, is another of the 56 MPs who have so far backed Mr Johnson to be prime minister again.
However in a column he wrote for the Crawley Observer on July 13, he said: “After leading our country through one of the most challenging periods we have experienced in decades, the Prime Minister’s decision last week to resign was the correct one.
“As it became clear that this was the best way to ensure stable government without distractions, Boris Johnson stood down having got the major policy decisions of his premiership right.”
In a statement posted on his website on July 6, Antony Higginbotham, MP for MP for Burnley and Padiham, said that he could “no longer in good conscience continue supporting the current leader of my party.”
In Twitter post on Friday, he said: “Over the last 24 hours my inbox has been inundated with messages. The majority view, and my view, is clear. It’s time to #BringBackBoris. He has the mandate to lead our country & our party.”