REUTERS – Former London Mayor Boris Johnson, a leading Brexit campaigner who had been considered one of the favorites to replace David Cameron as British Prime Minister, said on Thursday he would not be standing.
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Cameron announced he would resign last week after Britons voted to leave the European Union and Johnson had been seen as the leading candidate from the Leave camp to succeed him.
"Let us seize this chance and make this our moment to stand tall in the world. That is the agenda for the next prime minister of this country," Johnson told reporters.
"But I must tell you, my friends ... that having consulted colleagues and in view of the circumstances in parliament, I have concluded that person cannot be me."
Justice Secretary Michael Gove, another of the main figures in the Leave campaign who had previously said he would back Johnson, had earlier announced he would stand to be leader of the Conservative Party, saying he did not think Johnson could provide leadership.