LONDON — Boris Johnson withdrew from the contest to lead Britain’s ruling Conservative Party, putting Rishi Sunak on the brink of becoming the next prime minister.
Mr Johnson, who resigned last month after a series of scandals rocked him as prime minister, said returning to 10 Downing Street “just wouldn’t be the right thing to do” as it could divide the party. .
“You cannot govern effectively without a unified party in Congress,” Johnson said. “The best I can do is prevent my nomination from proceeding.”
The decision puts Sunak against House of Commons Leader Penny Mordaunt, and the former Chancellor has the backing of key Conservative MPs in Parliament. Mordaunt is staying in the race, a source familiar with the matter said after Johnson’s exit.
Whoever wins will face the challenge of bringing unity to a party that has weathered months of upheaval and national infighting. Conservative support trails the Labor opposition far behind in polls, as brutal cost of living pressure and steep inflation cloud the economic outlook.
After Prime Minister Johnson announced his disapproval, the pound continued to rise, gaining 1.0% to $1.1401 in early Asian trading.
Prime Minister Liz Truss’ decision to step down sparked a contest after weeks of turmoil as investors dumped the pound and British government bonds. swayed and swayed voter sentiment even further against the Tories.
Johnson’s possible return to office after stepping down less than two months ago was the latest twist in the upheaval in British politics following the 2016 Brexit referendum.
Johnson took a short leave of absence last week to consider running for his previous job, garnering the support of Cabinet members, including Commerce Secretary Jacob Reesmog. Although he is popular with Tories, MPs are divided over his legacy and fear that returning him to office will revive all the scandals that bought him out.
Johnson insisted he supported going to the polls, but said doing so could deepen divisions within the parliamentary party.
“In less than three years, I have led my party to a major election victory,” Mr Johnson said. , came to the conclusion that this is not the right thing to do.”
The Conservative Party has set a deadline by 2pm today for each leader candidate to prove the support of more than 100 MPs before going to the ballot. If more than one candidate has run by the end of Monday, members of the Tory Party will have the final say in an online ballot, with results coming out on Friday.
Mr Johnson said he would back whoever wins and no one backed him.
Boris Johnson has 51 supporters, while Sunak has at least 123 MPs, and Mordaunt only has 23, according to a Bloomberg tally. She told Sky News that she has confidence in her support, and that people who support Johnson may move to her camp.
In a short tweet, Sunak highlighted some of Johnson’s obvious accomplishments, including bringing Brexit to fruition and rolling out a COVID-19 vaccine.
In a leadership race to replace Johnson, Snack lost to Truss, and Tories worried about his role in Johnson’s downfall and his decision to raise taxes to the highest level since World War II. There are also concerns about his personal property and his aggressive attacks on Truss during that contest.
Mordaunt served as Secretary of Commerce before being promoted to head the House of Commons.
Her star has risen since joining the last leadership battle in which Johnson resigned. It has created a buzz that can help you get over it.
In the contest to put Truss as Prime Minister, Mordaunt ranked second only to Snak and ahead of Truss in all the votes taken among his parliamentary colleagues until the critical vote. In July, a ConservativeHome website survey of party members ranked Mordaunt second to Secretary of Defense Ben Wallace.
These factors may make Mordant hesitate to step aside.
Mordaunt wrote in a Telegraph column that he would focus on cutting taxes and boosting productivity to “bring growth and prosperity” across the country.
“I understand the challenges families face. I know how difficult things can be when budgets are strained, the cost of living is rising, and public services seem to be missing,” Mordaunt said. writes Mr.
But Tory leaders worry the growing economic crisis is starting to engulf the UK, with a carefully monitored survey scheduled for Monday morning showing inflation remains at its highest level in 40 years, This is likely to indicate that the recession is deepening.
A soaring budget deficit has caused current Prime Minister Jeremy Hunt to warn of difficult decisions ahead. He is due to release a key statement on the Treasury’s tax and spending plans on Oct. 31, which it has chosen to provide better information about how quickly the Bank of England will raise interest rates. date.
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