‘Bojo: It’s a no’: what the papers say as Johnson pulls out and Sunak surges ahead

Boris Johnson’s sudden exit from the Tory leadership race fills the UK front pages on Monday.

The Guardian goes with, “‘Not the right time’: Johnson out of race to lead the Tories”. The paper writes that the “Former PM struggled for backing” and that his “withdrawal leaves Sunak as frontrunner in battle for No 10”.

Whitehall editor Rowena Mason writes that “Johnson claimed to have won the support of 102 colleagues – two clear of the threshold needed – but only 60 had publicly stated their support for him.”

The Sun goes with “Bojo: It’s a no”. The paper reports that Johnson “threw in the towel over fears he could win the Tory crown with the party membership – but be unable to form a government with angry MPs.”

An editorial in the paper warns the former prime minister that “Now is not the time, Boris.”

Under the headline “Rishi set for No 10 as Boris bows out” the Daily Mail writes that “The former prime minister insisted he had the backers to make the ballot paper and could win a vote among party members. But he said this would simply not be the right thing to do.”

The paper also carries a comment piece that says, “For the good of the party and the country, Mr Johnson set his dream aside. This is a gesture of wisdom, honour and statesmanship. His time will come again.”

Scotland’s Daily Record says “Tories make a farce of it”.

Under the banner, “Leadership race descends into chaos,” the paper reports that “Boris Johnson was forced to scrap his Tory leadership bid … just hours after bragging about having enough support to run.” The paper labels it a “humiliating U-turn”.

Rishi Sunak’s leadership campaign dominates most of the other front pages. The Mirror splashes with “Sunak set for power” and writes that the former chancellor is “on the brink of becoming Britain’s latest unelected PM.”

It notes that “Only Penny Mordaunt now stands in the way of Mr Sunak.”

The Telegraph, however, appears to have discounted Mordaunt’s leadership campaign, with the headline “Sunak set to become PM as Johnson pulls out”.

A report from its political editor says “Much depends on whether she can hoover up Mr Johnson’s backers, a task that could be tricky”.

The Times carries a similar headline: “Sunak set for No 10 as Johnson quits race”. The papers writes that the “Ex-PM blames lack of unity among candidates” for his exit from the race.

It reports that Johnson accused Sunak and Mordaunt of “failing to come together in the national interest after they rebuffed his attempts to strike a deal.” It was reported that Johnson met with Sunak and Mordaunt over the weekend, urging them to pull out.

The Express leads with “Rishi new PM in waiting after Boris quits race”. The paper says that “Rishi Sunak is set to be crowned the next Prime Minister”.