GEORGE OSBORNE announced on Wednesday that he is quitting as an MP but will carry on ‘fighting for that Britain I love’ as editor of London’s daily newspaper – the Evening Standard.
In a letter revealing his decision to Conservatives in his Tatton constituency, he said he was thrilled to be taking charge of ‘a great newspaper.’
The former Chancellor, 45, made plain that he intends to stay active in political debates on issues he is passionate about. And he hinted he could make a political comeback in future, saying he was leaving Westminster ‘for now.’
He wrote: ‘I am stepping down from the House of Commons – for now. But I will remain active in the debate about our country’s future and on the issues I care about, like the success of the Northern Powerhouse.’
‘I want a Britain that is free, open, diverse and works with other nations to defend our democratic values in the world. ‘
‘I will go on fighting for that Britain I love from the editor’s chair of a great newspaper. It’s still too early to be writing my memoirs.’
Explaining his decision to step down, he said: ‘At the age of 45, I don’t want to spend the rest of my life just being an ex-Chancellor. I want new challenges. ‘
‘I’m very excited about the opportunity to edit the Evening Standard. I’ve met the team there and their energy and commitment to this great newspaper are positively infectious.’
He promised his editorship would give the public ‘straight facts and informed opinion to help them to make the big decisions Britain now faces about the kind of country we want to be. That starts with the coverage of this general election.’
Mr Osborne has been an MP for 16 years and was the youngest Tory MP of his generation in 2001.
He was already well known as a backroom Conservative who headed the political section of Conservative Research Department and later worked for John Major at No 10 and for William Hague.
Promotion at Westminster was swift, rising to become shadow chancellor and David Cameron’s closest political adviser in opposition.
He was regarded as one of the most influential Chancellors of recent years as a member of the Coalition ‘Quad’ and later in Mr Cameron’s majority Conservative Government – regularly tipped as a future Premier until the Brexit referendum derailed his rise.