This is effectively what Boris Johnson said when he declared that he would not enter the leadership contest that Rishi Sunk won. Johnson repeated what he said when he was dismissed as leader – that the broader membership of the Conservative Party loved him, but his backstabbing, self serving colleagues did not, more fool them. The implication is that the real worth is in the party members up and down the country, that only they know the true worth of Boris Johnson.
“In the last few days I have been overwhelmed by the number of people who suggested that I should once again contest the Conservative Party leadership, both among the public and among friends and colleagues in Parliament.
“I have been attracted because I led our party into a massive election victory less than three years ago – and I believe I am therefore uniquely placed to avert a general election now.
“A general election would be a further disastrous distraction just when the Government must focus on the economic pressures faced by families across the country.
“I believe I am well placed to deliver a Conservative victory in 2024 – and tonight I can confirm that I have cleared the very high hurdle of 102 nominations, including a proposer and a seconder, and I could put my nomination in tomorrow.”
“There is a very good chance that I would be successful in the election with Conservative Party members – and that I could indeed be back in Downing Street on Friday.
“But in the course of the last days I have sadly come to the conclusion that this would simply not be the right thing to do. You can’t govern effectively unless you have a united party in parliament.
“And though I have reached out to both Rishi (Sunak) and Penny (Mordaunt) – because I hoped that we could come together in the national interest – we have sadly not been able to work out a way of doing this.
“Therefore I am afraid the best thing is that I do not allow my nomination to go forward and commit my support to whoever succeeds. “I believe I have much to offer but I am afraid that this is simply not the right time.”
The fact is that Johnson would have caused a collective depression, a sigh of wonderment that we are back here in this whirlpool nadir once again.