Boris Johnson rules himself out of Tory leadership contest

Boris Johnson
Boris Johnson
From left, Charlotte Tipping from World Vision HQ, organiser of the lunch Sue Tinney, chef Sam Kemp, Alan Mak MP and Amy Johnson from the World Vision Advocacy Team 

Picture:  Malcolm Wells (170922-2862)

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The battle for the Conservative leadership has been dramatically transformed after Boris Johnson announced he won’t stand in the race to succeed David Cameron.

The former London mayor’s decision not to join the battle leaves Home Secretary Theresa May as hot favourite to be the next Prime Minister.

It came after the shock announcement by fellow Brexit campaigner Michael Gove - who had widely been expected to be Mr Johnson’s running mate - that he was putting himself forward for the leadership.

In a dramatic press conference just moments before the deadline for nominations passed, Mr Johnson said that the next Tory leader would have to unify his party and ensure that Britain stood tall in the world.

And he said: ‘Having consulted colleagues and in view of the circumstances in Parliament, I have concluded that person cannot be me.’