Immediately after announcing his resignation as leader of the Conservative Party, Boris Johnson said he would stand in next week’s elections for the 1922 Committee executive.
'As I am, errr…that is to say…no longer leader of the party, I am, ipso facto, not a senior Tory and urgo I am duly eligible to join the 1922 Committee and stand for its executive. QED!'
Had Johnson not resigned, it was widely expected that the new executive would have changed its rules so backbenchers did not need to wait a year between launching no confidence votes in the leader.
In an unexpected twist, Johnson has now come out in favour of changing the rules and is making this a key strand of his campaign.
He said the rules should clearly state that if the party leader resigns but stays on as Prime Minister. 'Out of the goodness of my...I mean their…heart to ensure stability over the summer, then the post of Prime Minister must be inferred on them for my…I mean their…lifetime.'
He added that anybody called Gove should be barred for any leadership bid and should be given the title of "oily, little snake-like traitor".
'I completely see the need to change these rules, he said. 'It is crucial to the survival of my career…I mean democracy within the party.'
Jacob Rees-Mogg described the proposals as “eminently sensible” and offered his resignation from the Cabinet in support.