Boris Johnson calls for support for Israel on visit to the country
Today is the day where Rishi Sunak tries to reset his beleaguered government and somehow drag it from the depths of poll despair in an attempt to win a general election next year.
But as Tory MPs mull over whether they should have yet another change of leader to tackle the 20 point deficit with Labour and Nadine Dorries’ book carries new revelations of the sinister shadowy mafia who installed Mr Sunak, up pops Boris Johnson again on a goodwill trip to support Israel.
The former Prime Minister is out of Parliament and cannot return to be leader anytime soon – if at all – but his latest foray into the spotlight at an ultra-sensitive time for Mr Sunak was, according to allies, not exactly a coincidence.
The Brexiteer Bruges group, close to many Conservative MPs on the right, spoke for a lot of them when it tweeted: “With Sunak seemingly missing in action, Boris Johnson demonstrates the required leadership.”
Mr Sunak was probably doing his best to ignore it, but the appearance of the charismatic former Prime Minister being feted internationally was the last thing he needed.
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As one former senior minister and Johnson ally put it: “Quality always distinguished itself.”
Adding: “[Boris] was reminding everyone what respected leadership looks like at home and abroad.”
It was without doubt a dig at the current Prime Minister whose mandate is now looking thinner by the day and who has not been nearly robust at home in dealing with “the pro-Hamas mob” taking control of Britain’s streets.
Johnson, of course, was in Israel to show solidarity with that country after the atrocities meted upon it by the Hamas terrorist group.
He went in the same spirit as when he went to Ukraine to show his solidarity and continued support for that country’s war in defending itself against Putin.
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In some ways Mr Johnson just needs to be himself – he articulates the issues before him like no other politician can in the UK.
His reaction – as recorded in the video above – to seeing the scenes of Hamas brutality and need for everyone to be “reminded of the full tragedy and horror” of what happened in October 7 in front of the world’s media did more in a few short minutes to make the case for Israel than the UK government and others has achieved in weeks.
Nobody – apart from the hard left anti-Israel and pro-Hamas antisemitic campaigners – can doubt that Boris Johnson is doing the right thing.
But it is also true, as one Conservative MP noted yesterday, that wherever he goes – Israel, Ukraine, the USA, Egypt for Cop27 – Boris Johnson is hailed as a world leader in equal measure to the vitriol aimed at him at home.
His very visible presence on the world stage makes it hard for Sunak, who is always going to be compared to him.
But such an intervention just as the Prime Minister is trying one last desperate relaunch of his government and is beset with scandals and allegations from Nadine Dorries, by-election defeats and awful poll readings, was also a sign that the Conservatives have lost their true leader.
As one veteran MP put it: “There’s always a second agenda to these things.”
In this case, it is the onoging Tory civil war triggered by the removal of Boris Johnson, then Liz Truss and the installing of Rishi Sunak as Prime Minister without a mandate.
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