Boris Johnson ruled himself out of running for the Conservative Party leadership on Sunday, despite claiming he had the support required to do so, ending a short-lived attempt to return to the British prime minister’s job he was ousted from little more than three months ago.
His withdrawal leaves former Treasury chief Rishi Sunak the strong favorite to be Britain’s next prime minister. He could win the contest as soon as Monday.
In making his announcement Johnson said, “I believe I am well placed to deliver a Conservative victory in 2024 — and tonight I can confirm that I have cleared the very high hurdle of 102 nominations, including a proposer and a seconder, and I could put my nomination in tomorrow.
“There is a very good chance that I would be successful in the election with Conservative Party members — and that I could indeed be back in Downing Street on Friday,” he said.
Johnson added, “But in the course of the last days I have sadly come to the conclusion that this would simply not be the right thing to do. You can’t govern effectively unless you have a united party in parliament.”