Politics

Was Boris Johnson right to quit leadership race? POLL

Boris Johnson 'will not unite the party’ says Sir Roger Gale

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Former Prime Minister Boris Johnson pulled out of the Tory leadership race on Sunday evening, stating that “it is not the right thing to do”. But do you think he made the right decision? Vote in our poll.

Mr Johnson was ousted from Premiership in July but had been expected to run to replace Liz Truss who resigned after just six weeks in the job following a series of U-turns and economic turmoil.

He flew home early from his holiday in the Dominican Republic to gather support for his potential campaign but decided to end his chances.

He released a statement on Sunday evening confirming that he would not be putting forward his candidacy on this occasion, adding that he would support the new leader. He said that he took the decision because “you can’t govern effectively unless you have a united party in Parliament”.

Mr Johnson wrote: “In the last few days I have been overwhelmed by the number of people who suggested that I should once again contest the Conservative Party leadership, both among the public and among friends and colleagues in Parliament.”

He added: “I believe I am well placed to deliver a Conservative victory in 2024 – and tonight I can confirm that I have cleared the very high hurdle of 102 nominations, including a proposer and a seconder, and I could put my nomination in tomorrow. 

“There is a very good chance that I would be successful in the election with Conservative Party members – and that I could indeed be back in Downing Street on Friday.

“But in the course of the last days, I have sadly come to the conclusion that this would simply not be the right thing to do.”

Mr Johnson did, however, hint at a future comeback, saying: “I believe I have much to offer but I am afraid that this is simply not the right time.”

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Some of his supporters have said they would back his return in the future with International Trade Secretary Kemi Badenoch saying: “The party needs a unifying figure to do what’s right for the UK. At this moment, I believe that person is Rishi. I’m a fan of Boris but his return, given all that’s happened would not bring people together.”

Lord Frost also said: “Boris Johnson will always be a hero for delivering Brexit. But we must move on. It is simply not right to risk repeating the chaos and confusion of the last year.”

Former Chancellor Rishi Sunak remains the favourite to become the next Prime Minister. He declared his candidacy on Sunday afternoon and has over 160 Tory MPs publicly backing him. His supporters include Sajid Javid, Northern Ireland minister Steve Baker and Tobias Ellwood.

His challenger Leader of the Commons Penny Mordaunt reportedly has the backing of around 30 MPs. Candidates are required to have 100 nominations by 2pm on Monday, October 24, to stand in the ballot.

So what do YOU think? Was Boris Johnson right to quit the leadership race? Vote in our poll and leave your thoughts in the comment section below.

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