British Chancellor of the Exchequer George Osborne has publicly announced that he will not seek to replace David Cameron as the country’s Prime Minister, saying he does not want to be tasked with leading the government as it leaves the European Union.
“It isn’t in my nature to do things by half-measure, and I fought the referendum campaign with everything I’ve got. I believed in this cause and fought hard for it,” Osborne wrote in a column that appeared in the Times of London on Tuesday. “So it is clear that while I completely accept the result, I am not the person to provide the unity my party needs at this time.”
Osborne, the U.K.’s finance czar, has been an outspoken critic of “Brexit,” which voters opted for in a national referendum on Thursday, precipitating economic turmoil and political crisis. Shortly after the decision was announced on Friday, Cameron — who was also hostile to the Brexit camp — announced his plans to resign accordingly.
The 45-year-old Osborne, a career politician who has held his current position since Cameron took office six years ago, has in the past been recognized as a potential successor as leader of the Conservative Party. But now is not the time, he said.
Osborne’s remarks come after a press conference early Monday local time, apparently intended to stabilize the British markets, when he said, “It will not be plain sailing in the days ahead, but let me be clear: You should not underestimate our resolve.”
A power vacuum now consumes the highest levels of the British government. The left is plagued by similar chaos: Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn faces a party coup against his leadership on grounds that he failed to unite his constituents to thwart Brexit at the polls.