June 30, 2016

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Boris Johnson rules himself out of Conservative leader race –
Ex-London mayor Boris Johnson has ruled himself out of the race to be the next Conservative leader and prime minister. In a speech in London – billed as his campaign launch – Mr Johnson said he did not believe he could provide the leadership or unity needed. It comes after Justice Secretary and fellow Brexit campaigner Michael Gove’s surprise announcement on Thursday morning that he would run for leader. Home Secretary Theresa May is among the candidates. Nominations closed at noon. Also in the running are Energy minister Andrea Leadsom and former Defence Secretary Liam Fox – who campaigned to leave the EU – and Work and Pensions Secretary Stephen Crabb, who backed Remain. The contest was sparked after David Cameron announced he would resign following the EU referendum result, which saw the UK vote by 52% to 48% to leave the EU. Mr Johnson’s unexpected – and dramatic – announcement that he would not stand for Tory leader or prime minister, positions he is long thought to have harboured ambitions for, has dramatically altered the race. Mr Gove and his team of advisors clearly did not believe Boris Johnson had the spine to fully divorce Britain from the EU. Nor did a number of Tory Mps trust Mr Johnson to deliver the promises he was making in terms of personnel and jobs. When Mr Gove made his move, hardened Brexit believers instantly went with him, sinking Boris Johnson. The irony of course is that Boris Johnson, who did so much to take Britain out of the EU, has seen his own ambitious crushed in the aftermath. It could be that the big winner from this vicious Tory drama is the woman in charge of law and order – Theresa May. [BBC]
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