A North East MP has revealed she is supporting controversial former Prime Minister Boris Johnson to make a surprise return to Downing Street following the resignation of Liz Truss.

Hartlepool MP Jill Mortimer announced she was backing Mr Johnson, who was forced from office just months ago, on her Facebook page on Thursday night.

Mr Johnson quit as party leader following widespread resignations from his Government over the Chris Pincher scandal regarding allegations of sexual misconduct by the former Conservative Deputy Chief Whip.

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Ms Mortimer said she spoke to Mr Johnson on Thursday evening and pledged her support after Ms Truss announced that she was resigning as Prime Minister after just 44 days, the shortest stint of any PM in British history,

Ms Truss' resignation triggers another leadership election with Boris Johnson one of the names already being linked to role, alongside Rishi Sunak and Penny Mordaunt.

Ms Mortimer said: “I’ve spoken to Boris this evening and I’m backing him for the leadership.

“He got Brexit done. He led us through the Covid pandemic.

“He supports Levelling Up in Hartlepool. He can unite our party and our country."

Ms Mortimer took the traditionally safe Labour seat of Hartlepool in a by-election in 2021.

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On Thursday morning, she posted a letter to her Facebook, showing that she had submitted a letter of no confidence in Liz Truss to Sir Graham Brady, chairman of the powerful 1922 Committee.

She said the 'deteriorating situation' throughout Wednesday's parliamentary sitting left her 'no choice' but to submit her letter against Liz Truss.

The Conservative Party leadership contest is expected to be concluded by next Friday.

Boris Johnson’s father Stanley has said he hopes his son will run to become Prime Minister again.

Mr Johnson senior told TalkTV’s Piers Morgan Uncensored: “Frankly I have no idea whether Boris is going to be a candidate in this election, no idea at all, but I think he has a very strong record to be considered as a viable candidate and I very much hope he will let his name go forward.”

Despite his son’s divisive reputation, Mr Johnson insisted that he could be a unifying force within the Conservative Party if he won.

“Boris is my elder son. He’s going to be crucial in uniting these warring parts of the Tory party,” he said.

Former culture secretary Nadine Dorries also has said she is backing Boris Johnson to succeed Liz Truss as Tory leader.

Ms Dorries said she had spoken to the former Prime Minister, who is currently believed to be on holiday in the Caribbean, following Ms Truss’s announcement but declined to say whether he had decided to run.

However, if he does throw his hat into the ring, she said she was confident he will get the 100 signatures needed to make it on to the ballot paper.

She told Sky News: “There is only one MP who has the mandate of the British public, who won a general election only three years ago with an 80-seat majority, and that was Boris Johnson.

“He is a known winner and that is certainly who I’m putting my name against because I want us to win the general election. Having a winner in place is what the party needs to survive.

“I am quite confident he will get the 100 signatures.”

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