In a complete surprise, former london mayor boris johnson does not apply to succeed outgoing prime minister david cameron. The brexit spokesman, who was seen as the favorite, announced that he would not stand in the election for tory leader.
This means he will not be the next prime minister of great britain either. A week ago, the british voted to leave the eu (brexit) – a vote unprecedented in the history of the european union.
Given the balance of power in the conservative parliamentary group, johnson said he was not the person to lead the country now after the eu referendum. "I have come to the conclusion that this person cannot be me," he announced at a press conference in london just minutes before the application deadline expired. His role is to give the next conservative government "every possible support". Johnson did not make a recommendation for another candidate.
Theresa may (59) is now seen as the new favorite for the post of prime minister. She had made her candidacy public. Among party members, it received rough approval in recent polls. Although she had campaigned for great britain to remain in the EU, she had hardly made any public appearances before last week’s referendum. She is therefore seen as a compromise candidate who can reunite supporters and opponents of a brexit.
Also justice minister michael gove threw his hat into the ring. Gove, who campaigned alongside johnson for britain to leave the EU, was previously seen as a staunch supporter of the 52-year-old. His bid revealed deep rifts in the camp of supporters of britain leaving the eu. Gove (48) had sharply attacked johnson in a statement. He does not believe that the latter can "take over the leadership and build the team for the tasks ahead.
Without gove’s support, johnson feared he might not get enough support in parliament. The justice minister is considered well-connected. Johnson, on the other hand, can only look back on a modest career in the british house of commons. In the brexit campaign, on the other hand, johnson was clearly in the lead. The former london mayor’s rough popularity probably played a decisive role in the brexit camp’s victory.
At the end of the application period at noon, a total of five candidates were in the race to succeed cameron.
On tuesday, conservative deputies are to select two candidates from the field of contenders, who will then face a vote by party members. Until the 9. September the new party leader and thus also the new head of government should be determined.
One week after the brexit shock, both major parties in the british parliament are deeply divided on the leadership issue. There is also a lot of rumbling in the labor party: labor leader jeremy corbyn must expect to face another vote by party members. Contrary to expectations, MP angela eagle did not announce her candidacy for labor leader on thursday.