Former Prime Minister Boris Johnson dropped out of the race to become Britain’s next leader on Sunday, claiming he had enough legislative backing to go to the next round but considerably less than front-runner former finance minister Rishi Sunak.
“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.
“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.” Johnson said in a statement.
Johnson, who never formally launched his candidacy to return to Downing Street, has spent the weekend attempting to persuade Conservative legislators to endorse him, and he claimed 102 of them on Sunday.
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He needed 100 votes by Monday to go to the next stage, which would have pitted him against Sunak in a vote of the Conservative Party’s 170,000 members.
Sunak, whose resignation as finance minister in July aided Johnson’s demise, had crossed the barrier of 100 parliamentarians required to advance to the next level on Sunday, according to Sky News.
He will be chosen Conservative Party leader and Prime Minister on Monday unless nominee Penny Mordaunt receives 100 votes to require a run-off vote among party members. On Sunday, she had 24 avowed supporters.
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