Former Chancellor George “six jobs” Osborne is standing down as an MP at the general election in June 2017.
The Evening Standard – the newspaper Osborne is to take over as editor – broke the news. Osborne is also an adviser to the investment firm BlackRock and chairs the Northern Powerhouse project.
Osborne wrote to Conservative members in his Tatton constituency that he would leaving Westminster “for now”, but would “remain active” in the political debate.
Just a year ago, Osborne was tipped to be the next Prime Minister, after David Cameron said he would step down before the end of his term. The Chancellor was the archetype of the economically and (relatively) socially liberal clique at the heart of the government.
However, Osborne spearheaded the financial aspect of the Remain campaign, which became known as “Project Fear”. After the Brexit vote, the new Prime Minister Theresa May sacked him from the Cabinet. Since then he has headed the backbench critics to the new government.
When Cameron quit as an MP, apparently unwilling to support his successor’s policies on grammar schools, and other issues, Osborne seemed to suggest he would stay on, tweeting that he would “miss him alongside me on the green benches over the coming years”.
However, his decision to take over the running of an influential newspaper caused controversy.
In his letter to constituents, Osborne hinted he could pick up his career in politics in the future. He said he looked forward to editing the Evening Standard, and added it was “too early to be writing my memoirs”.