Boris Johnson drops out of the race leaving Rishi Sunak as the clear frontrunner

Boris Johnson drops out of the race leaving Rishi Sunak as the clear frontrunner


LONDON – Boris Johnson, after a fierce comeback campaign, suddenly dropped out of the race to be British prime minister on Sunday, saying it was in the national interest to step down.

This paves the way for Rishi Sunak, the former finance minister, who is poised to be the next prime minister. He would be the first colored leader to preside over the British government and the first of Indian origin.

Sunak left Johnson’s government before it collapsed in the summer. He was also insightful, saying the economic plan of Johnson’s replacement, Liz Truss, was based on “fantastic” economics. The Truss lasted just six weeks after the plan caused massive disruption to the British economy.

In a statement, Johnson said he had enough support to go ahead with a vote among Conservative MPs on Monday. That claim was not supported by the BBC’s and The Guardian’s MP lists, which did not show Johnson reaching the 100-vote barrier out of the 357 Tory members of the House of Commons.

Johnson said: “I believe I have a lot to offer, but I’m afraid it’s just not the right time.”

Johnson said he had approached his rivals Sunak and the Conservative leader of the House of Commons, Penny Mordaunt, to work out some sort of deal – Johnson would not say what deal – “because I was hoping we could come together in the national interest – unfortunately we haven’t been able to come up with way to do it.”

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 could indeed be back in Downing Street on Friday,” Johnson said.

“But in recent days, unfortunately, I’ve come to the conclusion that it just wouldn’t be right. You cannot govern effectively if you do not have a unified party in parliament.

In fact, the problem for the mop-headed former leader who was ousted in July was this: many of his fellow Conservative lawmakers, along with so-called Tory bigwigs and once-friendly tabloid hacks, felt that his return to power would spell “disaster. ”

Even some of Johnson’s once-closest allies were wary. “Go back to the beach,” his former Brexit colleague David Davis said.

“It’s part of Boris Johnson’s strange political genius that he should be considered an encore at all,” wrote Charles Moore, his old boss and Telegraph columnist, who warned: “True Boris fans will have the nerve to tell him I’m sitting this one out.”

If Johnson returned to power, it would be as a wounded prime minister.

Johnson simply had too much baggage to get off to a good start.

People saw the film ending when the scandal-plagued Johnson was forced to resign in July after more than 50 ministers and aides quit, calling him unfit to lead.

The sequel – or “Johnson 2.0” as the British press dubbed it – would not avoid the actions of the original.

For starters, he was still facing a dangerous parliamentary inquiry into whether he lied to lawmakers about the covid-isolation parties at 10 Downing Street. This is a serious charge – one that could see him convicted or worse – and likely will be in the headlines for months, a constant reminder of his ouster as party leader and prime minister in July.

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

Liz Truss resigned from the post of Prime Minister on October 20 after six chaotic weeks in office. As Tory MPs prepared on Monday to vote on who leads their party, and therefore Britain, surrogates for Johnson and his main rival, former finance minister Sunak, made their case on morning shows, gossip Westminster WhatsApp groups and rounds of phone calls. calling and turning hands.

Members – older, wealthier, 97 percent white – tend to veer to the right of the party, with polls showing many favor Johnson over Sunak. But that could change.

Once their hero, many say Johnson has failed his members. They may have missed him – what pollsters deemed “Boris nostalgia” – but did they want to watch the next episode?

Rishi Sunak officially joins the race for UK Prime Minister

Boris Johnson could run again. He is still under investigation.

Johnson used to be very popular. Today, he is deeply divided, even in his own party. Outside the party? According to polls, the general public cannot stand him. His popularity declined.

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

Steve Baker, the Northern Ireland minister and an influential figure on the party’s right, said Johnson would be a “guaranteed disaster” that would “implode”.

Baker said Johnson was not in favor of “difficult rules” and that now was “not the time for Boris and his style”.

Former Secretary of the Interior Suella Braverman, who is also on the right side of the party, came out for Sunak. Writing in the Daily Telegraph, she said that while she had previously supported Johnson, “we are now in a difficult situation. We need unity, stability and efficiency. Rishi is the only candidate who fits this.

When backing Sunak, lawmakers use words and phrases like “stability” and “competence,” the right man for the economic challenges ahead.

Johnson’s supporters said he “got the big calls the right way” and “learned from his mistakes” and “is contrite.”

A majority of Britons say they want a general election, although one is not needed until January 2025. An early election could be called, but that would require the support of Conservative lawmakers, which seems unlikely given the party faces near extinction if today elections were held. A petition calling for a general election “to end the chaos of the current government” quickly gathered over 850,000 signatures.

Nadhim Zahawi, a former top minister in Johnson’s government, said he was backing his old boss again because he “got the right big calls” and argued that “Britain needs him back”.

He tweeted: “When I was chancellor I saw a preview of what Boris 2.0 would look like. He was contrite and honest about his mistakes. He learned from those mistakes how he can lead the number 10 and the country better.

Zahawi is the same man who, just three months ago, when he was the second most powerful person in the government, called on Johnson to “right now”.

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