Brexit: Boris Johnson rules out standing as Tory leader after Gove says he will run - as it happened

Michael Gove earlier shocked the Tories by announcing his own leadership campaign

Lizzie Dearden,Adam Withnall
Thursday 30 June 2016 18:16
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Brexit campaigner and former London mayor Boris Johnson prepares to leave after addressing a press conference in central London
Brexit campaigner and former London mayor Boris Johnson prepares to leave after addressing a press conference in central London

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Michael Gove has announced he will seek the Tory leadership after concluding Boris Johnson “cannot provide the leadership or build the team for the task ahead”.

In a bombshell announcement that rocked Westminster hours before the close of nominations, the pro-Brexit campaigner who had been expected to back the ex-London mayor threw his hat in the ring.

“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,” he said.

Andrea Leadsom has also announced she is running for the Conservative Party leadership, tweeting: “Let's make the most of the Brexit opportunities!”

Theresa May also made her pitch on Thursday, whle Boris Johnson provided another shock by ruling himself out of the race.

Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn was also braced for a leadership challenge after he rejected an attempt by deputy leader Tom Watson to persuade him to stand down.

Former shadow business secretary Angela Eagle - who quit in the mass walkout of frontbenchers - appears ready to announce she will run as a “unity” candidate, while former shadow work and pensions secretary Owen Smith is also reportedly considering a challenge.

Mr Watson warned the party was “in peril” after Mr Corbyn refused to discuss some form of “negotiated settlement” following Tuesday's unprecedented vote of no confidence by Labour MPs.

Both parties were plunged into crisis by the shock vote for a Brexit in the EU referendum, which caused the value of the pound to plummet.

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