Boris Johnson pulls out of leadership race - the best jokes and reactions

Boris Johnson pulls out of leadership race - the best jokes and reactions
Boris Johnson ends bid to return as UK’s next prime minister

Boris Johnson has ruled himself out of running for the Tory leadership, despite claiming he had the support required to do so.

The former prime minister said: “I believe I am well placed to deliver a Conservative victory in 2024 – and tonight I can confirm that I have cleared the very high hurdle of 102 nominations, including a proposer and a seconder, and I could put my nomination in tomorrow.

“There is a very good chance that I would be successful in the election with Conservative Party members – and that I could indeed be back in Downing Street on Friday.

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“But in the course of the last days, I have sadly come to the conclusion that this would simply not be the right thing to do. You can’t govern effectively unless you have a united party in parliament.”

Boris Johnson said that due to the failure to reach a deal with Rishi Sunak and Penny Mordaunt, “I am afraid the best thing is that I do not allow my nomination to go forward and commit my support to whoever succeeds”.

“I believe I have much to offer but I am afraid that this is simply not the right time,” the former prime minister said.

Johnson's decision comes after days of speculation that he was going to announce a surprise attempt to return as prime minister just three months after he was forced to resign by his own MPs following a series of scandals.

Although Rishi Sunak and Penny Mordaunt are the only two MPs who have formally announced that they will be running Sunak is strongly considered to be the favourite and is highly likely to be confirmed as the next prime minister of the UK.

Here's how people are reacting to the news.

Additional reporting by PA.

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