| 25 February 2024, Sunday |

Boris Johnson pulls out of UK Conservative leadership race

On Sunday, former prime minister Boris Johnson announced his withdrawal from the race to become the next leader of Great Britain. He said he had received enough votes from parliamentarians to advance to the next round, but considerably fewer than front-runner former finance minister Rishi Sunak.

Johnson said in a statement that “there is a very good probability” that he would win the election with support from Conservative Party members and that “I could in fact be back in Downing Street on Friday.”

Johnson, who never formally announced his bid to return to Downing Street, has spent the weekend trying to persuade Conservative lawmakers to back him and said on Sunday that he had the support of 102 of them.

He needed the backing of 100 by Monday to proceed to the next stage, which would have seen him going head-to-head against Sunak in a vote by the Conservative Party’s 170,000 members.

Sunak, whose resignation as finance minister in July helped precipitate Johnson’s fall, had cleared the threshold of 100 lawmakers needed to progress to the next stage, securing 142 declared supporters on Sunday, according to Sky News.

Unless Penny Mordaunt receives the required 100 votes to necessitate a run-off vote among party members, he will be elected leader of the Conservative Party and become prime minister on Monday. On Sunday, she had 24 formally announced supporters.

  • Reuters