Tory leadership bids take new turn

The contest to become the next leader of the Conservative Party – and our next prime Minister – took a new turn this morning as Michael Gove threw his hat into the ring and Boris Johnson said he would not stand

Tory leadership bids take new turn

In a surprise move, Michael Gove has announced that he will stand as a candidate to be the next Prime Minister resulting in fellow Leave campaigner Boris Johnson saying he will not stand. Home Secretary Theresa May has announced that she will also run in the race to be next Conservative Party leader.

Justice Secretary Gove was critical of fellow Leave campaigner Boris Johnson, saying he “cannot provide the leadership” or “build the team for the task ahead”.

In a statement, Gove said: “I have repeatedly said that I do not want to be Prime Minister. That has always been my view. But events since last Thursday have weighed heavily with me.

“I respect and admire all the candidates running for the leadership. In particular, 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.

“But I have come, reluctantly, to the conclusion that Boris cannot provide the leadership or build the team for the task ahead.”

Boris Johnson said it is vital “we bring together everyone who has campaigned for Remain and Leave” in the EU campaign.

“This is our chance to unite our party… and at the same time unite our country and our society.”

He then went on to say that while he will give his full support to whoever becomes the next leader of the Conservative Party, “having consulted colleagues and in view of the circumstances of Parliament I have concluded that person cannot be me”.

Commons leader Chris Grayling and housing minister Brandon Lewis have already pledged support for Theresa May.

In the statement announcing she will stand, May said: “Following last week’s Referendum, our country needs strong, proven leadership to steer us through this period of economic and political uncertainty, and to negotiate the best possible terms as we leave the European Union.

“Some need to be told that what the government does isn’t a game, it’s a serious business that has real consequences for peoples’ lives.”

Andrea Leadsom, Liam Fox and Stephen Crabb have also put themselves forward as candidates for the leadership campaign.

 

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