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One of the frontrunners to replace Rishi Sunak as Tory leader wants Boris Johnson to return to the political frontline to help the Conservatives rebuild.

However in an interview with GB News, Robert Jenrick ruled any cooperation with Reform UK leader Nigel Farage in the new Parliament.

Johnson, who won a 80 seat majority for the Conservatives at the 2019 election as "one of our most brilliant Conservatives".

He continued: "I said during the campaign that he should come back and he did, albeit once at the very last minute. I would be very happy to see Boris back actively involved and so the party.

"Indeed, I'd be happy to see him in Parliament. This is a moment in which all of the strongest players need to be on the pitch.

"The Conservative Party has got to rally around, rebuild our party, and if Boris wants to be part of that, I'd be delighted."

Turning to Farage, Jenrick told Political Editor Christopher Hope: "I respect Nigel, he and I share a number of things in common. We obviously both believe in strong borders.

"But no, I don't think that Nigel can or should be part of the Conservative Party.

"He said that he doesn't want to join the party, said he wants to replace the Conservative Party and as long as that is his view, there can't be a role for him in the party.

"But I will work with anyone who shares my determination to secure our borders and to hold an open borders Labour Party to account for everything they do."Jenrick is expected to stand for leader along with his rivals Tom Tugendhat, Kemi Badenoch, Suella Braverman and Priti Patel.

He refused to say when asked directly if he will stand, saying: "That's a self-indulgent argument to have today. What I am interested in is ideas and principles, not individuals and personalities."

Elsewhere, Jenrick blamed his party's catastrophic election defeat on failing to deliver for voters by cutting taxes, having a strong NHS and a secured border.

He said his hope was to target Reform voters who had turned their backs on the Conservative party.

He said: "Two thirds of the constituencies that we lost on Thursday. The margin of defeat was less than the Reform vote. So my task is now how do we bring those people home?

"I want all small seat conservatives, whether it's in the north of England in the Midlands, where I represent or frankly, anywhere in this country, to feel that the Conservative Party is their natural home.

"That's what we've got to set out now in the weeks and the months ahead, as we begin this process of rebuilding our party."

On illegal migration, Jenrick said it was now "open season" on migrants who wanted to come to the UK from northern France in small boats.

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