May 22, 2024

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Former British Prime Minister Boris Johnson withdraws from the leadership race

Former British Prime Minister Boris Johnson withdraws from the leadership race

Johnson previously enjoyed such high levels of popularity that he lost credibility in the final months of his premiership.

Jleeb Garanish | Reuters

LONDON – Former British Prime Minister Boris Johnson will not participate in the contest to replace outgoing leader Liz Truss.

Despite being sacked just three months ago, some Conservative MPs have endorsed Johnson for the top job, and he has reportedly told allies over the past two days that he will formally join the contest.

But in a statement issued late Sunday, Johnson said this was “simply not the time”. He added that he had “passed the big hurdle of 102 nominations” to participate in the final stages of the competition. About 60 lawmakers publicly backed the former prime minister, but there were question marks about exactly how many nominations he got.

Johnson mentioned his competitors in his statement, Rishi Sunak and Benny Mordaunt, who officially participated in the competition.

“And while I’ve reached out to both Rishi and Penny – because I wish we’d come together in the national interest – we unfortunately couldn’t find a way to do so,” Johnson said.

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Former Chancellor of the Exchequer Sunak is now the favorite to be Britain’s next leader with around 140 nominations so far.

On Saturday, Johnson returned from a vacation in the Caribbean amid a media frenzy as he was throwing his hat in the ring. Johnson is still believed to be popular with the grassroots of the broader Conservative Party even though many Tory MPs are vehemently opposed to a comeback.

Former culture minister and close Johnson ally Nadine Doris Tweet Thursday that he was the only MP to have received “a mandate from the members of the British party and public” He won the 2019 general election.

“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. But in recent days I have unfortunately come to the conclusion that this simply would not be the right thing to do,” Johnson said in a statement on Sunday. You cannot govern effectively unless you have a unified party in Parliament.

Johnson previously enjoyed high levels of popularity until he lost credibility in the final months of his tenure amid a political scandal over Covid-19 rule-breaking and his links to Representative Chris Pincher.

In his parting letter he alluded to a future return to the position with the following words: “Hasta la vista, baby” or “see you later.”

British Prime Minister Liz Truss resigned ThursdayIt concluded a short 44-day period mired in “micro-budget” chaos, economic turmoil and weeks of political infighting.

How does the contest work?

Truss’ successor will once again be determined by a Conservative Party leadership contest from a shortlist of candidates. But this time, the process has been accelerated within a week, as the party seeks to salvage its credibility and reassure markets.

Candidates have until 2pm London time on Monday to win the support of 100 MPs and thus enter the polls to choose the party leader.

The threshold is particularly high given that the party consists of 357 deputies, each of whom is allowed to vote for only one candidate. Thus, that limits the number of potential contenders to three.

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If only one candidate gets the required 100 votes, he will automatically win the race and become Britain’s next prime minister. If two or more candidates reach 100 nominations, the competition will begin with the indicative ballot on Monday afternoon and evening.

If the process extends beyond Monday, Conservative Party members – who number about 200,000 people representing 0.3% of the British population – will have until 11am to vote for their preferred candidate in an online ballot.

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