Boris Johnson has dramatically withdrawn from the race to become leader of the Conservative Party, leaving former prime minister Rishi Sunak in the dominant position to win the contest and become prime minister.
The former prime minister rushed home from his Caribbean vacation to try to secure the support of 100 Conservative MPs to take part in the vote to replace Liz Truss, who was forced to resign on October 20. . downing city.
But in a statement released Sunday night, Mr Johnson said he would withdraw because even if he won the election, he would not be able to unite his party despite securing enough nominations. .
‘Not the right time’
Having led the Tory party to a “major election victory” in 2019, Mr Johnson said he was “gravitated” to the idea of becoming prime minister again and thus resisted the opposition’s calls for an immediate general election as an “independence party”. The position of Labor is widely expected to win a landslide victory.
Mr Johnson said he had won 102 nominations, but only 57 Conservative MPs have publicly expressed support for his candidacy.
He said he had a “very good chance” of winning a successful election with members of the Conservative Party and returning to Downing Street on Friday.
“But in the last few days, sadly, we have come to the conclusion that this is not the right thing to do,” he said. “You cannot govern effectively without a unified political party in parliament.”
Johnson said he had reached out to two other candidates, Sunak and Penny Mordaunt, but couldn’t come to an agreement on how to “unite in the national interest.”
“So the best thing is not to let my nomination go forward and endorse someone who has been successful,” he wrote, adding: right time. “
snack lead contest
With Johnson’s resignation, the election to replace Liz Truss could be a head-to-head race between Sunak, who has garnered 146 official declarations of endorsement, and Mordaunt, who has only 24 so far.
If Mordant doesn’t get enough nominations, it could all end after 2pm on Monday.
Her supporters hope Johnson’s resignation will open up the campaign so she can get on the ballot.
If she does, MPs will hold a “directed vote” to show who they support, and unless one of the candidates declines, an online poll of Tory activists will be used to determine the election. It is done.
PA Media and Reuters contributed to this report.