Boris Loudmouth quit, he can’t provide the leadership for the task ahead
Posted by hkarner - 30. Juni 2016
Source: The Wall Street Journal
Subject: Boris Johnson Says He Isn’t Seeking to Replace British Prime Minister David Cameron
Theresa May and Michael Gove vie for leadership of Conservative Party
The race for the leadership of the U.K. Conservative Party, and therefore the U.K.’s next prime minister, took a sharp and unexpected turn Thursday, as former London Mayor Boris Johnson said he wouldn’t run.
The move came after Justice Secretary Michael Gove, the man who had been due to help chair Mr. Johnson’s leadership bid, announced his own candidacy.
Home Secretary Theresa May also announced her candidacy.
Mr. Johnson, the figurehead of the successful Leave campaign for Britain to exit the European Union, had been seen as having a strong claim to the job.
Mr. Gove had been helping Mr. Johnson with his leadership campaign and had previously said he didn’t want to be prime minister. Before his announcement, Mr. Johnson had been largely quiet in the week since the vote plunged the country into political and market turmoil.
Mr. Gove said he was running because he had “come, reluctantly, to the conclusion that Boris cannot provide the leadership or build the team for the task ahead,” according to a statement.
Britain’s vote to break away from the EU has plunged the country into uncertainty and thrown Britain’s political scene into upheaval, prompting Mr. Cameron to resign and opening up a political vacuum as candidates jostle for position.
Mr. Cameron’s successor will have to steer Britain through negotiations to end it 43-year-old membership in the bloc and bring together a country split by the vote and a large cultural divide.
Ms. May, seen as a key rival to Mr. Johnson, promised to heal the nation’s divisions, saying she could provide the strong leadership the country needed as it determines its future relationship with the EU.
“Nobody should fool themselves that this process will be brief or straightforward,” said Ms. May. “It is going to require significant expertise and a consistent approach.”
A survey by polling firm YouGov PLC conducted Sunday and Monday suggested Ms. May was slightly more popular among the general public than Mr. Johnson.
However, some Conservative lawmakers have said that her support of the prime minister’s position of remaining in the EU would make it hard for her to be the prime minister to negotiate Britain’s exit.
The politicians vying to succeed Mr. Cameron say the U.K.’s new economic relationship with the EU should involve access to the bloc’s single market. But the bloc has stood by its stance that that requires free movement between countries, a major reason behind many Britons’ votes to leave.
Nominations for candidates are due by noon Thursday in the U.K. Conservative lawmakers will then hold a series of ballots until the list is whittled down to two candidates. The contest is then opened up to the party’s membership of some 150,000 people. Only those who have been members for at least three months can vote.
The Conservative Party says it intends to announce the new prime minister on Sept. 9.
The political fallout from the EU referendum is also roiling the main opposition Labour Party. Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn lost a symbolic vote of confidence among the party’s lawmakers on Tuesday by 172 votes to 40, ramping up pressure on him to resign.