The former mayor of London and a major proponent of Brexit, Boris Johnson won’t be Britain’s next Prime Minister. Johnson, who is also an author and sometime late night talk show guest, has long had his eye on the position and was considered the leading candidate to assume leadership of the Conservative party as David Cameron is due to exit. But in a surprise move today, he said he did not think he was the right person. The decision came after his close ally, Michael Gove, challenged him for the job, The New York Times reports. Johnson’s exit could be a boon for another candidate, Home Secretary Theresa May who supported staying in the EU.
Cameron resigned on Friday when the Leave vote prevailed. A successor is to be determined by early September.
The Times today referred to the political situation in Britain as a sort of Game Of Thrones. “The Conservative Party is following a similar script, with friends betrayed and secret deals,” the newspaper wrote.
A flamboyant figure, Johnson as London mayor was vocal about its attributes as a location for film and television shoots. He also appeared on The Late Show With David Letterman in June of 2012, the summer that London hosted the Olympics. At the time, he almost came up short when the host asked the famously disheveled politician how long he’d been cutting his own hair. Johnson’s relationship with Rupert Murdoch has also previously faced criticism.
Today, he said, “My role will be to give every possible support to the next Conservative administration to make sure that we properly fulfil the mandate of the people that was delivered at the referendum and to champion the agenda that I believe in, to stick up for the forgotten people of this country.”