London: Former London Mayor Boris Johnson on Thursday ruled himself out of the race to be next Conservative leader and Prime Minister, soon after Justice Secretary Michael Gove entered the competition to succeed incumbent David Cameron.

Brexit campaigner and former London mayor Boris Johnson addressing media persons in central London yesterday. Pics/AFP
Brexit campaigner and former London mayor Boris Johnson addressing media persons in central London yesterday. Pics/AFP

Besides Gove, Theresa May, Stephen Crabb, Liam Fox and Andrea Leadsom were confirmed as official Tory leadership contenders.

Britain voting to leave by 52 per cent to 48 per cent of remain.

Johnson’s unexpected — and dramatic — announcement that he would not contend for Tory leadership, leaves Home Secretary Theresa May as hot favourite to be the next British Prime Minister.

Johnson told media that the next Conservative leader would have to unify his party and ensure that Britain stood tall in the world. "Having consulted colleagues and in view of the circumstances in Parliament, I have concluded that person cannot be me," he said.