LONDON: Former Prime Minister Boris Johnson withdrew from the contest to become Britain’s next leader on Sunday, saying he had the backing of enough lawmakers to take the next step, but far less than the former minister finances. Rishi Sunak.
“There is a very good chance that I will be successful in the election with members of the Conservative Party – and that I could indeed be back in Downing Street on Friday,” he added. Johnson said in a statement.
“But over the past few days I have unfortunately come to the conclusion that it just wouldn’t be the right thing to do. You can’t govern effectively if you don’t have a united party in parliament.”
Johnson, who has never formally announced his candidacy to return to Downing Street, spent the weekend trying to persuade Tory lawmakers to back him and said on Sunday he had the backing of 102 of them.
He needed the backing of 100 people by Monday to take the next step, which would have seen him face Sunak in a vote of the Conservative Party’s 170,000 members.
Sunak, whose resignation as finance minister in July helped precipitate Johnson’s downfall, had passed the 100 lawmaker threshold needed to take the next step, gaining 142 declared supporters on Sunday, according to Sky News.
He will be named leader of the Conservative Party and become prime minister on Monday unless candidate Penny Mordaunt hits the 100-supporter threshold to force a run-off of party members. She had 24 declared supporters on Sunday.



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