Boris Johnson dropped out of the Tory leadership race, he won’t be resurrected yet

One of the craziest storylines from the past week has been the political resurrection of Boris Johnson. BoJo was basically forced to resign as prime minister after a wave of scandals plagued his government, specifically with his handling of the pandemic. BoJo and his cronies were throwing parties at 10 Downing Street all while enforcing strict Covid lockdowns, and then everything just kept getting worse and worse from there. BoJo announced he was stepping down as prime minister once there was a leadership race for the Tories, and Liz Truss was found to be the best candidate. Boris handed Downing Street over to Truss on September 6th, when they both met with Queen Elizabeth II at Balmoral. Two days later, QEII died and forty-two days after that, Truss resigned after a wave of bad policy and Tory-on-Tory crime. Boris saw his chance and decided to throw his hat into the proverbial ring, thinking that perhaps the time was right for a political resurrection and a return to 10 Downing Street not even two full menstrual cycles after he left in disgrace. Then on Sunday, Boris suddenly dropped out of the leadership race!!

Former PM Boris Johnson has pulled out of the Tory leadership race, saying he had the support needed to stand but it would not be “the right thing to do”.

Former chancellor Rishi Sunak and cabinet minister Penny Mordaunt remain in the contest – with Mr Sunak way ahead on declared support from MPs.

Mr Johnson said there was a “very good chance” he would have been successful, and “back in Downing Street on Friday”. But he said there needed to be “a united party in Parliament”.

The race began on Thursday after Liz Truss resigned as prime minister after 45 days in the job. Nominations for the ballot close on Monday afternoon, and candidates need the support of at least 100 Conservative MPs to go forward. The BBC’s latest tally of publicly declared backers puts Mr Sunak on 155 and Ms Mordaunt on 25.

Mr Johnson had 54, according to this tally – although he said he had 102. Not all of the 357 MPs have gone public with whom they are backing.

It is possible Mr Sunak could become prime minister by Monday, and there will definitely be a new prime minister by the end of the week.

Mr Johnson said he had been attracted by the race because “I led our party into a massive election victory less than three years ago – and I believe I am therefore uniquely placed to avert a general election now. A general election would be a further disastrous distraction just when the government must focus on the economic pressures faced by families across the country.”

[From BBC]

I’ve seen some British political analysts say that BoJo dropped out because he didn’t have the votes in the leadership race, and even if he did have the votes, his party would have still been in open revolt against him, to the point where he wouldn’t have been able to even fill his cabinet. So… at least British people were spared that particular storyline: Boris blundering his way back into Downing Street like nothing had happened. Anyway, good luck Salt Island. Y’all are gonna need it.

Photos courtesy of Mark Stewart /Avalon and Kirsty O’Connor/Avalon.

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23 Responses to “Boris Johnson dropped out of the Tory leadership race, he won’t be resurrected yet”

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  1. Digital Unicorn says:

    Was sooo glad to hear this this morning – apparently there was talk of a colab with him and Rishi but it got smacked down. Just shows that Blow Job didn’t have the votes/support – there would have been protests in the streets if he got back in. But being the shameless grifter he is he WILL try again to be PM – he has a weird obsession with Winston Churchill – he wants to be him.

    Rishi should have got in in the first place – out of the 2 of them (him and Truss) he was the ‘slightly’ better candidate. And that says quite a lot about the state of both the Tory party and British politics.

    A lot of pundits are saying there will be a GE called before the year it out – Truss did a LOT of damage during her short tenure.

    • sunny says:

      They really need a GE because I don’t know how parliament can go on as such. The whole parliamentary system is based on confidence in the house and really, I don’t think the tories can still make the argument about having a majority when their government have lurched from one internal crisis to another.

      As to Bojo, just no. I can believe he would weasel his way back but it would have been an absolute disaster. Truly, what did he accomplish as PM? Britain got very little of what it wanted from the Brexit deal(rightly so) and he managed Covid pretty badly. You can point to the vaccine rollout as kind of a win but beyond that?

      For all of you who may have watched the brilliant show Veep, they have a line about one of their characters that I often apply to Boris as PM. “You were using Jonah for intelligence?????? That is like using a croissant as a dildo! Let me be more clear- it doesn’t do the job and it makes a fucking mess”

    • AnnaKist says:

      He finally did something right. He pulled out. And Planet Earth is happy.

  2. Roo says:

    The party is scrambling. So many of them don’t want Rishi Sunak because he isn’t “British” enough, but we all know that dog whistle. Very interesting, but not surprising, to see from this side of the pond.

    • Amy Bee says:

      This is why Liz Truss won the last time.

    • sunny says:

      Truly this. My parents left the UK in the 80’s but still follow politics there because most of our family is there. That is context to say, my father has not lived in England in years and during the leadership contest he was like, “it is an interesting situation because we will find out of the party hates people of colour or women more. I think they party is way too racist to give it to Rishi”. I reminded him that there are women of colour and they especially hate them. But I could not believe the general lack of discourse of Rishi’s race and how it impacts how he is perceived by party members.

      I cannot believe he still wants this job when everything is such a mess.

      • Dominique says:

        i am a woman of indian origin, from an African CW country that has also lived for many years in the UK. I feel incredibly proud that Rishi has won but i am also happy that his race is not dominating the discourse. He won because he was competent (the markets today stabilised just because he was in the lead) and not because he was checking a checkbox.
        And he won on Diwali! Chef’s kiss !

    • TrixC says:

      Absolutely there is racism involved, but it’s true that Rishi was revealed to still be holding a US Green Card, so it’s fair enough that questions were asked about his degree of commitment to the UK. He was also damaged by the revelations that his millionaire wife is a ‘non-dom’ and doesn’t pay tax in the UK. Looks like he is definitely going to be the next PM in any case.

      • sunny says:

        True @Trixc but in the context of some people’s racist rants when comparing him to BoJo(a man not even born in the UK), I rolled my eyes towards heaven.

    • [insert_catchy_name] says:

      Just anecdotally, no one I have spoken to who is living in the UK has ever brought up his race. Him and his wife having a net worth of about £750 million however…

  3. Tarte au Citron says:

    I can’t believe BJ even managed 50 something supporters. Just goes to show what a bunch of venal toerags Tory MPs are.
    BJ is living his best life these days: always on holiday, nobody has any expectations about him actually working like a pleb. He can collect a 5-6 figure sum for a speech any time he wants.
    I was listening to the James O’Brien LBC show over the weekend and apparently BJ hasn’t been seen in his constituency for ages. He may as well go back to being a celebrity writer.

    • TheOriginalMia says:

      Saw two letters to the editor in the Guardian that blasted BoJo for going for the PM job when he was supposed to be resting his constituency. According to one of the letters, Boris has been on vacation in the Caribbean and making boatloads of money from speaking engagements in the US since he was ousted.

  4. Pumpkin (Was Sofia) says:

    Well it’s looking like it’s going to be PM Rishi Sunak. Unless Mordaunt has 70+ MPs who have privately told her they’re backing her but haven’t publicly revealed it. Those two in general are probably they “least worse” candidates but considering it’s the Tory party, that is not a high bar nor is it praise from me. Just hoping a GE will get the Tories out sooner rather than later.

  5. Amy Bee says:

    Boris dropped out because he didn’t have the votes. It’s simple as that. If he had them as he claimed he would never have dropped out.

    • SarahCS says:

      Of course that’s what happened. I was reading an opinion piece on it this morning and at one point the writer commented that no-one, particularly not his fellow tories, believes a word he says these days.

    • [insert_catchy_name] says:

      Yeah he is so full of s@*t. There is no way he would have dropped out if he had the votes.

  6. SarahCS says:

    One small mercy.


    ‘and Liz Truss was found to be the best candidate’

    I beg to differ. She was white and said enough right wing/libertarian nonsense to appeal to more of the registered members of the conservative party who represent a tiny % of our overall population. Super democratic.

  7. Gabby says:

    Good grief. When is the next general election there? I would compare the Tory shuffle to Family Feud, but it seems long past the 3rd strike. Why isn’t the Labor party capitalizing on the chaos? And what are the other (viable) parties in the UK?

  8. Ceej says:

    Rishi is PM without a party vote; so will be interesting given a radio programme had a call from “Jerry” who claimed to be a Tory party member who said he isn’t British enough and lots of them feel that way… so the racists are in for a shock the next few months.

    Some Boris highlights:

    He wore a suit in his call to supporters leading to quotes he “looked prime ministerial” for the first time. Such is the height of the bar they set.

    And he actually had the gall to set up separate meetings with both Penny M and Rishi to suggest they drop out so he could be the PM and then the other person would get another key role (probably chancellor). They refused so he naturally tried to throw them under the bus in his resigned letter. I hope they both laughed him out of the room. What a twit. All other things equal, at least we’ve been spared BoJo.

    • Digital Unicorn says:

      Blow Job is our Trump he will keep trying to slime his way back into the Premiership cause he loves the power and protection it gives him (or he thinks it does) – the party need to dump him completely if they are to regain some sort of face but I dunno as he is sadly still well liked by a lot of voters.

      I have loathed Johnson since his days as London Mayor.

    • sunny says:

      His arrogance is astouding.

  9. jferber says:

    But we’ll still get to see his crazy hair once in a while, won’t we? I’ve become weirdly attached to that crazy hair.