Boris Johnson withdraws from consideration for the position of British prime minister.



switch to caption AP photo by Gareth Fuller/PA AP photo by Gareth Fuller/PA ENGLAND — Boris Johnson, the former leader of the United Kingdom, declared on Sunday that he will not seek the position of Conservative Party leader, putting an end to a brief but highly publicized bid to reclaim the position he lost as prime minister less than three months ago.

In the wake of his resignation, Rishi Sunak, the former Treasury head, is now the overwhelming favorite to succeed David Cameron as the third prime minister of Britain this year. He might take first place as early as Monday.

Liz Truss resigned last week after her tax-cutting economic package caused turmoil in the financial markets, was quickly abandoned, and destroyed her authority within the ruling party. Johnson, who was removed from office in July amid ethics scandals, had been widely expected to run to succeed Truss.

After returning from a Caribbean holiday, Johnson spent the weekend trying to win over fellow Conservative legislators. He also spoke with Sunak and House of Commons Leader Penny Mordaunt, two of the other candidates.

He said late Sunday that he had secured the support of 102 colleagues, surpassing the necessary number of 100 to qualify for a vote of MPs on Monday.

He conceded that “you can’t lead effectively until you have a cohesive party in Parliament,” but he was well behind Sunak in terms of support.
Expand this picture Author: Alberto Pezzali

switch to caption Author: Alberto Pezzali Author: Alberto Pezzali Johnson’s potential comeback had further polarized the Conservative Party, which was already fractured. Although he guided the party to a resounding electoral win in 2019, his premiership was marred by ethical and financial scandals that ultimately proved to be too much for the party to endure.

In a statement released on Sunday, Johnson asserted that he was “well situated to deliver a Conservative triumph” in the 2024 general election. Additionally, he claimed that he most likely would have defeated both of his opponents in a vote among Conservative Party members.

But he said, “But I have regretfully come to the conclusion that this would simply not be the appropriate thing to do over the course of the remaining days.” The wisest course of action, I’m afraid, is for me to withdraw my nomination and pledge my support to the winner.

I believe I have much to give, but I’m afraid that this is just not the appropriate time, he said, dropping a hint that he might return.

The Conservative Party hurriedly ordered a contest after Truss resigned on Thursday, with the goal of naming a new prime minister — its third this year — by Monday and installing him or her within a week.

Sunak is currently the clear favorite and, based on unofficial counts, has the support of more than 140 parliamentarians. Mordaunt has fewer than 30 supporters.

If both candidates qualify for the ballot, the 357 Conservative legislators will cast an indicative vote on Monday to indicate their preference before the 172,000 party members across the nation make their decision. Sunak will be declared the winner by acclamation if Mordaunt does not receive 100 nominations.

In the battle for the Tory leadership to succeed Johnson this summer, Sunak, 42, came in second place to Truss. He announced his re-entry into the most recent leadership race on Sunday.

In a statement, Sunak promised that “purity, professionalism, and responsibility” would be present at every level of the government he would oversee. “I will work day in and day out to get the job done,” Sunak added.

Only a few hours after allies insisted Johnson would run, he finally quit. After returning to London on Saturday after a vacation in the Dominican Republic, Johnson told Business Secretary Jacob Rees-Mogg that “obviously he’s going to stand,” according to a statement to the BBC on Sunday.

However, Johnson’s longtime supporter and prominent Conservative Party figure Steve Baker cautioned that a Johnson comeback would be a “certain disaster.” Johnson’s alleged lying to Parliament about breaking his government’s own coronavirus rules during parties at Downing Street is still under investigation, according to Baker.

Johnson’s legislative tenure might be put on hold if he is proven guilty.

Baker stated to Sky News on Sunday, “This is not the moment for Boris and his manner.” “We really can’t do it again,” the speaker said. “What we can’t do is have him as prime minister in circumstances where he’s bound to implode, taking down the entire government.”

Truss quit Thursday after a tumultuous 45 days, admitting she couldn’t deliver on her bungled tax-cutting economic package that she was forced to abandon after it caused rage within her party and weeks of market instability.

Sunak, who led the Treasury from 2020 until this summer, managed to keep the British economy from collapsing during the coronavirus outbreak. He resigned in July in opposition to Johnson’s direction.

Sunak referred to Truss and other competitors’ vows to instantly cut taxes as reckless “fairy tales” and claimed that skyrocketing inflation must be tamed first in the summertime race to succeed Johnson.

Truss was chosen by Tory voters over Sunak, but he was proven correct when his underfunded tax-cutting plan caused market pandemonium in September. It is anticipated that he will now be tasked with restoring stability to Britain’s faltering economy.