Another day, another political bombshell. This time from Boris Johnson
Boris Johnson has announced today that he will not be running for the Tory leadership. After a bitter Brexit campaign that has split the country down the middle, Boris Johnson was expected to announce his leadership bid today.
However, in a shock move Boris Johnson has announced that he will not be running after all. In a press conference statement just after the Tory leadership deadline had passed, Johnson told a group of assembled press: ‘Having consulted colleagues and in view of the circumstances in parliament, I have concluded that that person cannot be me.’
Johnson has been vilified by the Remain camp since the Brexit result was announced last Friday. He was booed when he left his home the morning after the vote, with a team of cyclists even obstructing the path of his car. Many have suggested that his backing of the Leave campaign was to advance his career and he was in fact privately pro-Remain.
After keeping quiet over the weekend, on Monday he made a statement via his column in The Telegraph insisting that Britain could be stronger outside of the EU. Despite being tipped as David Cameron’s successor pre-referendum, after a dip in his popularity both within the Tory party and with the general public, Johnson has now stepped out of the race.
So who is in the running to be Tory leader?
Home Secretary Theresa May played it safe during the Referendum campaign by quietly backing the Remain camp. Many think her combination of experience – she is the longest-serving Home Secretary in 100 years – and ‘unflappable’ demeanour would help calm the country’s turbulent climate. She currently has a 36% lead in the polls.
Justice Secretary Gove had been widely expected to support Boris Johnson’s leadership bid. But in a shock split from his Brexit co-pilot, Gove has now announced he will stand himself, telling reporters he had ‘come to the conclusion that Boris cannot provide the leadership or build the team for the task ahead.’
A relative Cabinet newbie, Welsh politician Crabb only became Secretary of State for Work and Pensions in March. Pundits have said his working class roots could enable him to reach new voters, though the fact that he once voted against same-sex marriage won’t help his public image.
Fox was previously Defence Secretary before resigning in 2011. A Brexit supporter, he has said he wants to ‘paint an optimistic picture of our country’ and argues that his extensive experience in government makes him the right man for the job.
Pro-Leave Energy Minister Leadsom has also thrown her hat into the ring, saying she wants Great Britain to ‘make the most of Brexit opportunities.’