Boris Johnson withdrew from the race leaving Rishi Sunak in pole position

Suspension

LONDON (Reuters) – Boris Johnson abruptly pulled out of the race to return as Britain’s prime minister after a grueling campaign for a comeback, saying it was in the national interest.

The dramatic development makes Rishi Sunak, a former finance minister, who is leading in the race, the company’s favorite. He would be the first color leader to head the British government and the first of Indian origin.

Sunak had abandoned Johnson’s government before it collapsed over the summer. He was also a visionary, saying that the economic plan to replace Johnson, Liz Truss, was based on “fantasy” economics. Truss lasted only six weeks after that plan caused major disruption to the British economy.

In a statement, Johnson said he had enough support to proceed to a vote among Conservative Party MPs on Monday. That claim was not supported by lawmakers’ statistics by the BBC and the Guardian, which did not show Johnson had reached the 100-vote barrier of 357 Conservative MPs in the House of Commons.

“I think I have a lot to offer but I’m afraid this is simply not the time,” Johnson said.

Johnson said he reached out to rivals Sunak and Conservative leader in the House of Commons, Benny Mordaunt, to strike a deal of some sort – Johnson did not say what kind of deal – “because I had hoped we could come together in the national interest – unfortunately we couldn’t find a way to do that” .

He seemed to blame them for his withdrawal.

“There is a very good chance that I will be successful in the election with members of the Conservative Party – and that I will indeed be back in Downing Street on Friday,” Johnson said.

“But in the course of recent days I have unfortunately come to the conclusion that this simply would not be the right thing to do. You cannot govern effectively unless you have a united party in Parliament.”

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Mordaunt is still in competition but he is still far behind with only 25 declared supporters. She is hoping for support from unspoken voters and Johnson’s supporters, but some of those have already said they will support Sunak.

Sunak responded to the news of Johnson’s withdrawal, tweeting: “I really hope he continues to contribute to public life at home and abroad.”

In what could be read as an appeal to Johnson’s supporters, he said: “Boris Johnson delivered Brexit and the start of a wonderful vaccine launch. He led our country through some of the toughest challenges we’ve ever faced, then faced Putin and his barbaric war in Ukraine. We will always be grateful to him. on it.”

The problem for Johnson, the former leader who was ousted last July, was this: many of his fellow Tory lawmakers, along with so-called Conservatives and tabloid hackers, believed his return to power would lead to “disaster”. “

Even some of Johnson’s closest allies were wary. ‘Go back to the beach’, says his ex-boyfriend on Brexit David Davis said.

Charles Moore, his longtime boss and Telegraph columnist, wrote, “It’s such a bit of a peculiar political genius of Boris Johnson that it should be thought of at all” to sit outside. “

Had Johnson returned to power, he would have been the wounded prime minister.

Johnson had plenty of baggage to get off to a clean start.

People watched the film, which ended when Johnson, burdened by scandal, was forced to resign in July after more than 50 ministers and aides resigned, calling him unfit to lead.

The sequel – or “Johnson 2.0” as the British press used to call it – wasn’t going to escape the original version’s plot points.

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For starters, he was still facing a perilous investigation in Parliament over whether he lied to lawmakers about covid shutdown parties at 10 Downing Street. This is a serious accusation – it could expose him to censorship or worse – and will likely make headlines for months, and a constant reminder of his ouster as party leader and prime minister in July.

Boris Johnson blames ‘herd’, resigns to make way for new British leader

Les Truss resigned as prime minister On October 20, after six weeks of chaos in office. As Tory MPs prepare for a vote on Monday, on who runs their party and then who runs Britain, proxies for Johnson and his main rival, former chancellor Sunak, have been floundering on morning talk shows, Westminster rumors, WhatsAp groups, phone calls and arm wraps.

Members – older, wealthier, 97 percent white – tend to veer to the right of the party, and polls show many favoring Johnson over Sunak. But this could have changed.

Once their champion, many say Johnson let his members down. They may have missed him – what pollsters saw as “Boris’ nostalgia” – but did they want to watch the next episode?

Rishi Sunak officially joins the race to be UK Prime Minister

Boris Johnson may run again. It is still under investigation.

Johnson was once very popular. Today he is deeply divisive, even within his own party. outside the party? According to opinion polls, the general public could not stand it. Its popularity has declined.

William Hague, a Conservative Party member and once party leader, said Johnson’s return to power was “the worst idea I’ve heard in the 46 years I’ve been a Tory party” and would send a party into a “death spiral”.

Steve Baker, the Northern Ireland minister and an influential figure among those on the right of the party, said Johnson would be a “guaranteed disaster” that “must collapse from within”.

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Baker said Johnson is not one of the “boring rules” and that now “is not the time for Boris and his style.”

Former Home Secretary Suila Braverman, who is also from the right in the party, came for Sunak. Writing in the Daily Telegraph, she said that while she had previously supported Johnson “we are in dire straits now. We need unity, stability and competence. Rishi is the only candidate who fits the law.”

When endorsing your age, lawmakers use words and phrases like “stability” and “efficiency,” the right man for the economic challenges ahead.

Those supporting Johnson said “he got the big calls right”, “he learned from his mistakes” and “repentant”.

Nadim Zahawi, former Prime Minister in Johnson’s government, tweeted: “Today is a long time in politics…” In fact, it was. Earlier in the day, he wrote that he was supporting Johnson, saying he had “get the big calls right” and “Britain needs him”. But he quickly changed his mind after hearing his old boss was dropping out of the race and said it was time for the party to rally behind the “extremely talented” Sunak.

Labor leader Keir Starmer has reiterated his calls for a general election. “The country needs to get rid of this mess,” he told the BBC.

The majority of Britons say they want a general election, although it is not required until January 2025. An early election could be held but would require the support of Conservative lawmakers, which seems unlikely given that the party faces a near obliteration that took place today. a petition Calling for a general election to “end the chaos of the current government” quickly collected more than 850,000 signatures.

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