Former London mayor Boris Johnson has announced that he will not stand to lead the Conservative Party – and therefore become the next prime minister – after fellow Brexit campaigner Michael Gove put himself forward for the top job.
Mr Johnson has been an implacable opponent of plans to expand Heathrow Airport and his announcement follows transport secretary Patrick McLoughlin’s statement that a decision on airport expansion in south east England has been delayed until the Autumn.
Boris Johnson is an opponent of Heathrow expansion
Ironically, there had been speculation that the possibility that Mr Johnson might succeed David Cameron as prime minister was an obstacle to a decision on the Airport’s Commission’s year-old recommendation that Heathrow should be the site of a new runway.
In 2014 the commission rejected Mr Johnson’s proposal for a 'Boris Island' airport in the Thames estuary.
Announcing his decision, Mr Johnson promised to give ‘every possible support’ to the next Conservative administration, to make sure that it fulfils the mandate that was delivered at the referendum, and to ‘stick up for the forgotten people of this country’.
He added that the Government should ‘invest in our infrastructure’ and follow a sensible, one nation Conservative approach that is simultaneously tax-cutting and pro-enterprise’.
Michael Gove, another key figure in the Leave campaign, announced on Thursday morning (30 June) that he would stand to be the next Tory leader.
The other contenders are home secretary Theresa May, work and pensions secretary Stephen Crabb and fellow MPs Liam Fox and Andrea Leadsom.