Westminster is still digesting what happened on Thursday night. But before Britain can turn itself to the big question of how to leave the EU, a new Prime Minister has to be chosen by the Tory party.
Nearly every Tory MP I’ve spoken to since Friday morning is of the view that the new PM will have to be an Outer. They argue that the public would find it find odd to vote for Britain to leave, and then have a new PM chosen who was on the losing side in the referendum.
There are, as I report in The Sun this morning, Cabinet Ministers who want Michael Gove to run. They think he would be the best PM of the Outers and that he would find it easier to reunite the party than Boris. But, I understand, Gove is not planning to put himself forward. (Rather wonderfully, Gove went to bed on Thursday evening before the results started coming in. The first he knew of the results, was when his team called him at 4.45am to tell him that Leave had won).
Those involved in the Leave campaign are talking up the idea of Boris, Gove and the other Brexiteers running for the leadership together. One influential figure tells me that ‘Michael has acquired a new respect for Boris in this process.’ Indeed, the senior Tory Leavers have bonded during the campaign. I’m told that, ‘They have become a band of brothers and sisters. There is a logic to them taking on the challenge they have created.’