Brexiters descend into infighting; Boris quits

Brexit campaigner Boris Johnson quit the UK PM race after Justice Secretary Michael Gove joined it

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.

Biggest blow

Earlier, Gove shocked the political circuit with his intention to become the Prime Minister. The former education secretary said that he does not believe Boris can “provide the leadership” for the task ahead to get a fair deal for Britain in talks with European Union.

Justice Secretary Michael Gove
Justice Secretary Michael Gove

The journalist-turned-politician had repeatedly said he had no leadership ambitions and “wanted to help build a team behind Boris Johnson. “I have come, reluctantly, to the conclusion that Boris cannot provide the leadership. I have, therefore, decided to put my name forward for the leadership,” he said.

UN to gain importance
Britain’s membership on the Uunited Nations Security Council has become more important for asserting London’s global power after the Brexit vote, the British ambassador to the United Nations has said. “My job just got even bigger,” Ambassador Matthew Rycroft said. “The Security Council, if anything, has become even more important for the UK as an even larger proportion of our total world outlook.” Britain is one of the five permanent members of the Security Council but the vote to quit the European Union will leave France as the sole EU power among the so-called P5 on the top UN body.

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