USA TODAY US Edition
Brexit’s Johnson won’t run to replace Cameron Jane Onyanga- Omara
Conservatives collect nominations for next person to lead party
Former London mayor Boris Johnson, who led the successful campaign for the United Kingdom’s exit from the European Union, announced Thursday that he would not run to replace David Cameron as leader of the Conservative Party and prime minister.
New York-born Johnson was the bookmakers’ favorite to replace Cameron, who led the losing “remain” campaign and said after the referendum June 23 that he would step down this fall.
“Having consulted colleagues and in view of the circumstances in Parliament, I have concluded that person cannot be me,” Johnson said.
“My role will be to give every possible support to the next Conservative administration to make sure that we properly fulfill the mandate of the people that was delivered at the referendum and to champion the agenda that I believe in, to stick up for the forgotten people of this country,” he said.
The nominations to replace Cameron as leader of the Conservative Party closed at noon Thursday. The new leader is scheduled to be announced Sept. 9.
Justice Secretary Michael Gove, a prominent member of the “leave” campaign, announced he would run as party leader Thursday.
Gove had expressed support for Johnson and had said he did not want to be prime minister.
“I wanted to help build a team behind Boris Johnson so that a politician who argued for leaving the European Union could lead us to a better future,” he said. “But I have come reluctantly to the conclusion that Boris cannot provide the leadership or build the team for the task ahead.”
Home Secretary Theresa May, who supported the “remain” option, is among the five Conservatives who plan to run as candidates.