LONDON: British Justice Secretary Michael Gove, a leading figure in the campaign for Britain to leave the European Union, will run for the leadership of the ruling Conservative Party, British media reported on Thursday citing unnamed sources.
Before last week’s EU referendum, Gove had ruled himself out of the race to succeed Prime Minister David Cameron, and media had reported he was likely to throw his weight behind former London mayor Boris Johnson.
“I have repeatedly said that I do not want to be Prime Minister. That has always been my view. But events since last Thursday have weighed heavily with me,” The Guardian cited Gove as saying.
British lawmaker Andrea Leadsom, a prominent campaigner for Britain to leave the European Union, said on Thursday she would also be standing as a candidate to replace Cameron as Conservative leader.
Cameron, who led the Remain campaign, announced last week he would quit after Britons voted to exit the EU with his replacement due to be announced in early September.
“Delighted to say I’m running for the @Conservatives Leadership,” Leadsom, a junior energy minister who previously had a long career in finance, wrote on Twitter.
Earlier on Thursday, Britain’s interior minister Theresa May put herself forward to replace the outgoing prime minister. Recognising divisions in the country, May said she would make Britain work for everyone and promised big changes, if she won the top job, for the economy and society.