There is every chance that he will succeed in the election with members of the Conservative Party and that he may indeed be back in Downing Street on Friday. But over the course of the last few days, I have unfortunately come to the conclusion that this simply would not be the right thing to do. You cannot govern effectively unless you have a united party in Parliament, he said in a statement.
Sunak took to Twitter soon after to praise his record in office, in an apparent rapprochement with Johnson loyalists within a divided Tory party.
Sunak said: Boris Johnson delivered Brexit and the big vaccine launch. He led our country through some of the most difficult challenges we have ever faced, and then he took on Putin and his barbaric war in Ukraine. We will always be grateful to him for that.
Although he has decided not to run for prime minister again, I really hope that he will continue to contribute to public life at home and abroad.
Much had been made of a rapprochement between the duo, who worked side by side at 10 and 11 Downing Street as Prime Minister and Chancellor during the course of the COVID-19 pandemic.
However, it was the partygate scandal that broke the pandemic lockdown law that finally brought their association to a halt in July when Sunak’s resignation from the cabinet set in motion the events that ended with Johnson’s own departure.