A Christian Conservative MP has said Boris Johnson would need to demonstrate that he’s reflected on the reasons why he resigned, if he were to lead the Tory party again.
Johnson is expected to attempt to win a second term as prime minister only weeks after he was forced to step down, with some colleagues warning his comeback could create more political chaos.
There is currently a Privileges Committee investigation into the Partygate scandal which rocked his previous administration.
While Stephen Crabb, the Conservative MP for Preseli Pembrokeshire, hasn't revealed who he would back to lead the Tories, he said he has learned that there’s a lot of support in his constituency for Johnson to return to 10 Downing Street, but believes he can’t be the same type of leader if he were to join the leadership contest.
“If he’s serious about running, and he's not yet declared, although he is picking up quite a lot of support from MPs, I think he would need to explain what is different this time.
“I think he would need to be able to demonstrate that there's been a reflection on what happened previously, and why he was forced to leave office and show that he's learned from that. I don't think people expect their politicians to be perfect, but there are basic standards that need to be observed.
“I think Boris would need to really show that he's determined to provide good leadership in it’s truest sense of the phrase.”
The potential candidates to replace Prime Minister Liz Truss, who dramatically quit on Thursday after only six weeks in power, were embarking on a frantic weekend of lobbying to secure enough nominations to enter the leadership contest before Monday's deadline.
Johnson, who was on holiday in the Caribbean when Truss resigned, has not commented publicly about a bid for his old job. He has received the support of dozens of Conservative MPs, but needs to secure 100 nominations to be considered.
Crabb told Premier he would like to see leadership candidates put the nation first.
“I think given the seriousness of the issues facing the country, cost of living pressures facing all of our constituents, the turbulence on international financial markets, this really is a moment where those people who think that they could do the job of Prime Minister need to really demonstrate that they're acting in the national interest.
“And Conservative MPs taking part in that election need to be able to demonstrate that they're acting for the best interests of the country.
“Pray for wisdom, pray for clarity of thought, and judgment on the part of MPs as we make our decisions on who best to take this country forward.”
The contest to become the UK’s fourth prime minister in four years has been accelerated to take only a week. Under the rules, only three candidates will be able to reach the first ballot of lawmakers on Monday afternoon, with the final two put to a vote of party members for a result by next Friday.