BORIS Johnson is expected to put himself forward for the Conservative leadership election in an effort to return to Number 10, according to reports.

The former PM, who was ousted amid a row over deputy chief whip Chris Pincher being hired although Johnson had been aware of complaints over his conduct and after months of the partygate scandal, has been tipped as a potential replacement for Liz Truss.

Truss announced her resignation on Wednesday after just 44 disastrous days in office.

It is thought that Johnson – still a popular figure within the Conservative Party – would be in with a shot if the vote goes to the members. Graham Brady, the chair of the 1922 Committee, has indicated he wants members to get a say, but also plans for the vote to be finalised by next Friday.

However, with 100 MP nominations required to get onto the final ballot, it's thought Johnson could struggle to make it to the membership vote stage.

The Times reported following Truss’s resignation that Johnson is expected to stand.

“He’s taking soundings but is said to believe it is a matter of national interest,” said the publication’s political editor.

But the suggestion hasn't gone down well with the Scottish Tories. Johnson is notoriously unpopular north of the Border, and has been blamed for the party's grim local election results and poor polling. 

"It would be disastrous for the Union and the Scottish Conservative party," a party source told The Times after a Johnson return was floated.

And one Tory veteran has argued that Johnson should not be allowed to return to office while still under investigation for potentially lying to Parliament.

Sir Roger Gale said: “We need to remember that Mr Johnson is still under investigation by the Privileges Committee for potentially misleading the House.

“Until that investigation is complete and he is found guilty or cleared, there should be no possibility of him returning to Government.”

Former culture secretary Nadine Dorries is among those tipping Johnson to take over again.

Other names bandied around as potential successors have included Kit Malthouse, Grant Shapps, Sajid Javid, Rishi Sunak and Penny Mordaunt.

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When Johnson left Downing Street, he compared himself to Cincinnatus in his departure speech.

The reference was to the ancient Roman statesman Lucius Quinctius Cincinnatus, who left his job as a farmer to become a dictator before giving it up to go back to a simpler life. But Cincinnatus actually became leader of Rome for a second time, fuelling speculation that Johnson wanted to return to power too.

Johnson missed Wednesday night’s shambolic Commons vote on fracking because he’s currently on holiday with his family in the Caribbean.

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Initial suggestions are that names for the leadership contest must be in by Monday. It is understood that Johnson is returning to the UK this weekend.

Since leaving his role as PM, Johnson has not turned up to vote in Parliament since July. He’s still claiming a £84,144 salary as a backbencher, though.

The former Conservative leader has been able to claim thousands of pounds as a public speaker since leaving Number 10 – and in one speech in the US this month picked up a whopping £135,000, according to the Mirror.