The Washington post newspaper stated that the question of who will lead Britain into its future outside the European Union a muddled mess for nearly a week was further scrambled on Thursday, with the camp that had favored an exit splintering into warring tribes in a development that could complicate former London mayor Boris Johnson’s path to become prime minister.
With the deadline for entering the contest to occupy 10 Downing Street just hours away, the race had been shaping up as a likely standoff between Johnson, the mop-headed rogue who favored “leave” and Theresa May, the no-nonsense domestic security chief who had backed “remain.”
But Michael Gove, the bookish Justice Secretary who was regarded as the intellectual architect of the “leave” campaign, shocked the country’s political establishment Thursday morning by announcing that he, too, would enter the fray.
The newspaper added that Gove had been expected to serve as Johnson’s campaign manager, uniting the two men who had been the most prominent Conservative backers for Brexit, as a British departure from the E.U. is popularly known.
But he apparently had a last-minute change of heart, saying Thursday morning that he had come “to the conclusion that Boris cannot provide the leadership or build the team for the task ahead.”