While Michael Gove definitely stabbed Boris in the back, Boris could still have entered the leadership race and expected to finish in the top two. There is more to this story than has been published.
I find it more likely that Boris grabbed the opportunity to save face and quit the race blaming it on Gove’s treachery rather than risk winning and having to either press the ‘Article 50’ button or do a complete about-turn.
This explanation is made further plausible by The Times today reporting that Boris was looking for a way out immediately after the referendum, by trying to strike a deal with Theresa May where she became PM but would stand down by 2020 for Boris.
Ironically, thanks to Gove, May taking the flak and Boris stepping up later is still a very possible outcome.
It is not a glowing endorsement of our situation when the most high profile campaigner for this very situation took one look at it, turned around and ran away.