But in a statement, he said: “I have been overwhelmed by the number of people who suggested that I should once again contest the Conservative Party leadership.”
He claimed he was “uniquely placed to avert a general election now” having secured the 2019 Tory landslide.
Johnson also alleged he is “well placed to deliver a Conservative victory in 2024”.
He continued: “I can confirm that I have cleared the very high hurdle of 102 nominations, including a proposer and a seconder, and I could put my nomination in tomorrow.”
The rules of the contest mean any nominee has to reach 100 nominations from fellow MPs before 2pm on Monday. If more than one person reaches this threshold, there will be a vote between Tory MPs that afternoon.
If no-one withdraws after that, the vote goes to the Tory Party members, who chose not to back Sunak in the summer (even though he was the frontrunner among MPs) and went with Liz Truss instead.
However, Johnson ruled himself out even before this stage could begin, saying: “I have sadly come to the conclusion that this would simply not be the right thing to do” due to the splits in the Tory Party.
But, it’s safe to say, not many people believed Johnson did actually reach that 100-nominations threshold.
According to the BBC’s tally, Johnson only had 58 MPs publicly declaring they were backing him before he pulled out. MPs have no obligation to announce who they were supporting, but this did raise eyebrows considering Johnson claimed to have almost twice as many as that.
And others pointed out that if it seems unlikely he would pull out of the race to be the next PM if he actually had a fighting chance of getting through the first round.
Here are some of the best responses to his claim.