Boris bows out despite Sleaford MP’s backing – Sleaford Labour leader calls for General Election

Speculation is growing that Rishi Sunak will become the unopposed candidate for the next British Prime Minister after former PM Boris Johnson ruled himself out of the Tory party leadership race in an announcement at 9pm on Sunday night.

Dr Caroline Johnson with former PM Boris Johnson.
Dr Caroline Johnson with former PM Boris Johnson.

Rishi Sunak is already said to have over 100 MPs backing him to become the new leader while other declared candidate, Commons Leader Penny Mordaunt is still not expected to gather enough MPs to support her.

With Boris Johnson ruling himself out in the interests of party unity, some of his former supporters are now switching their backing to former chancellor Sunak.

The news has already begun to calm the money markets and the pound.

Sleaford and North Hykeham MP Dr Caroline Johnson had stated on Times Radio that she was backing Boris Johnson despite formerly quitting as vice chairman of the Conservative Party under his premiership because his "errors of judgement and domestic actions" had "squandered the goodwill of our great Party".

Meanwhile Grantham and Stamford MP Gareth Davies had come out in favour of Sunak. Gainsborough MP Sir Edward Leigh and Lincoln MP Karl McCartney had also declared their support for Mr Johnson prior to the news of him backing out of the race.

Commenting on the situation, Paul Edwards-Shea, chairman of Sleaford and North Hykeham Constituency Labour Party, said it was “not a surprise” that Liz Truss was forced to resign “given the economic harm done to the country by her mini-budget.”

He said: “It leaves the country in a period of uncertainty in an unstable world. We need a stable government that gives careful thought to its economic policies that will continue to be under the spotlight of the markets. Many residents cannot make ends meet because of low pay and huge hikes in food, rent and energy costs.

“Some local MPs are supporting Boris Johnson for the leadership of the Conservative Party. This shambles has put a bounce in the step of local Labour activists who are looking forward to campaigning and engaging with voters.

“We need a General Election now and a Labour victory. Keir Starmer would be the best Prime Minister for this country.”