Boris Johnson has said he is “determined” to fulfil his Conservative Party’s winning 2019 mandate in his final few weeks as leader.
Speaking to broadcasters for the first time since his resignation last week, Mr Johnson said he will continue to “oversee the process” before a new Tory leader is elected in the coming weeks.
“I’m determined to get on and deliver the mandate that was given to us, but my job is really just to oversee the process in the next few weeks, and I’m sure that the outcome will be good,” he said during a visit to the Francis Crick Institute in London.
“We just need to get on and as I said I think before to you, the more we focus on the people, on the people who elect us, on their jobs, their hopes and what they can get out of investment in science and technology.
“The more we talk about the the future that we’re trying to build, the less we talk about politics in Westminster, the generally happier we will all be.”
Last Thursday, Mr Johnson announced his resignation as prime minister after less than three years in Number 10, saying: “No one in politics is remotely indispensable.”
Speaking from Downing Street, he thanked the millions of people who voted Conservative at the last election, and said the reason he fought so long to remain in office was because “I thought it was my job, my duty and my obligation to you”.
A Number 10 source said the PM had spoken to the chairman of the Conservative backbench 1922 Committee, Sir Graham Brady, prior to his resignation and agreed for a new Tory leader to be in place by the party’s conference in October.
But several of his MPs want him to leave immediately, saying after so many resignations from his government, he does not have the authority to lead.
Former Conservative Prime Minister John Major wrote to Sir Graham last week saying allowing Mr Johnson to remain in post for three months would be “unwise, and may be unsustainable”.
Meanwhile, Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer has also threatened to call a vote of no confidence in the Commons, with the support of other opposition parties, if Tory MPs cannot oust him straight away.
Over the weekend, rumours swirled that Mr Johnson could himself stand in the upcoming Conservative leadership race.
However, this would be against the Conservative Party election rules which state: “A leader who resigns is not eligible to contest the subsequent leadership election.”
A Number10 source told Sky News that Mr Johnson will not attempt to stand in any leadership contest and that the claim he will do so is “untrue”.