George Osborne announces he is quitting as MP ahead of snap election

george

George Osborne has announced today that he is quitting as MP for Tatton and will not seek re-election in June.

He was elected in June 2001, replacing Martin Bell, and became the youngest Conservative MP in the House of Commons.

In a letter to the Tatton Conservative Association, George Osborne wrote "At the age of forty five, 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 is positively infectious. More so than at any time in my life, the public need from the media the 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."

He added "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."

Rod Menlove, Vice President of Tatton Conservative Association said "In the light of this snap general election being called, George has reappraised his role in public life and has made the very difficult decision not to seek re-election. As he says, 'at the age of 45, I don't want to spend the rest of my life just being an ex-Chancellor'.

"We are saddened by this news but respect and understand his decision. He has been a great constituency MP since first elected in 2001 and has achieved big things for Tatton and the North West. The new A556 link road and the SEMMMS route are considerable achievements. We thank him for his years of service."

He added "We, the Tatton Conservative Association, will now follow the Conservative Party rules and procedures and our members will select a new Conservative candidate to stand in this election."

Following The Evening Standard's announcement last month that George Osborne had been appointed as its new Editor to succeed Sarah Sands, over 195,000 people signed a petition calling for George Osborne to either stand down as an MP or quit his new job as editor of the Evening Standard.

The online petition, called 'George Osborne MP - Pick A Job' was set up by the campaign group 38 Degrees who said the petition is important because "George Osborne has just accepted a job as editor of the Evening Standard. But he's already got a full-time job as an MP, representing tens of thousands of people who live in his constituency, including me.

"It's not appropriate for someone to be a member of the government and also control a huge amount of the media. George Osborne needs to pick a job."

For five years George Osborne was Shadow Chancellor and for six years he was Chancellor of the Exchequer before being replaced with Philip Hammond following Teresa May's appointment as the country's new Prime Minister in May 2016.

The Boundary Commission for England has put forward proposals to abolish the current Tatton parliamentary constituency before the next general election, which was due in 2020. However, with Teresa May's announcement yesterday that she has called a snap election on June 8th the general election will be fought on current boundaries.

Here is the full resignation letter George Osborne sent to Patti Goddard, President of the Tatton Conservative Association.

19 April 2017

Dear Patti,

I am writing to let you know that I will not be seeking re-election for the Tatton constituency.

I’ve had sixteen brilliant years as a Member of Parliament, representing the wonderful people of Cheshire.  Their good humour and common sense have kept my feet on the ground through the ups and downs of political life. As I helped to open our new link road to Manchester recently, after fifty years of trying to get it built, I thought: we’ve achieved a lot together for the local community. 

Being a member of the House of Commons is a rare privilege, and the thrill I felt when the returning officer announced my first election has never left me through all the dramatic events I have seen played out on those green benches.  I also count myself as incredibly fortunate to have served as Chancellor of the Exchequer for six years - and to have been part of a team under David Cameron that turned around the fortunes of the Conservative Party and rescued the economy.  We promised modern, compassionate Conservative Government, and we delivered it. I am proud of the role I played in that.  It’s not true when they say there are no friends in politics – along the way, I have made close life-long friends.

Now I have to make decisions about my future.  At the age of forty five, 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 is positively infectious. More so than at any time in my life, the public need from the media the 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. 

It means a lot to me that the Tatton Conservative Party gave me such a warm welcome at our recent annual meeting.  You have been great friends to me for two decades. No one ever thanks you enough - and other grassroots members of our political parties - for the role you play as citizens who take the time and the trouble to care about what happens in our democracy.  So let me say a deep, heartfelt thank you.

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.

Best wishes, George 

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Comments

Here's what readers have had to say so far. Why not add your thoughts below.

Fenton Simpson
Wednesday 19th April 2017 at 4:57 pm
Good riddance George, One less job for you to worry or not about.
Elaine Napier
Wednesday 19th April 2017 at 9:44 pm
Is this the same George Osborne who told us such a short time ago that he would remain an MP?

Not that i think he should stay. He really is a massively untruthful waste of space.
Helen Gaughan
Wednesday 19th April 2017 at 11:20 pm
So finally 6 jobs George has done the honourable thing .... Tatton Conservatives now have 7 weeks or so to field a suitable candidate . I'm glad , as Tatton deserves a full-time MP . I'm very much looking forward to the electioneering from all candidates in the run-up to this unexpected General Election . I'm sure Mrs May's decision has caught many within the political sphere on the hop ....
Catherine Simpson
Thursday 20th April 2017 at 8:02 am
Not sorry to see him go: too many jobs, so his constituents could never really have been his priority. As the Tatton constituency will be abolished he would be going anyway, so that's why he's been prematurely feathering his nest. I genuinely thought, when I heard his comment, that he had said he didn't want to spend the rest of his career as an 'inept Chancellor'.
Duncan Herald
Thursday 20th April 2017 at 7:13 pm
On one occasion I needed help and approached the Office of our M.P. (George Osborne)for that help.
I got an immediare reply and the matter was sorted out within a very few days. I even got a written apology from the Official who had been wrongly making life awkward.
I have of course no idea whether and to what extent the M.P. was involved or whether it was his Office that did the good work. Does that matter ?

But I'm seldom at ease when an individual is harshly attacked, the way our M.P. has been, for what is really a trivial error,

Of course I wasn't 'happy' at his taking on several jobs, but from my one close experience, he (or his Office) did exactly what an M.P. should do.

Bye the bye, how many M.Ps, of any party, have more than one job? Perhaps they should be 'attacked' as well ? Not to mention those who 'fiddle' expenses without much in the way of punishment !
Alan Brough
Thursday 20th April 2017 at 10:19 pm
Hi Duncan,

Have you looked into George's mortgage arrangements?

If you do I hope you'll agree that he was "having it large" and if you tell me that it was all within the rules then I'll spit in you eye.....again!
Duncan Herald
Friday 21st April 2017 at 9:41 am
Hallo Alan,

1. Would you be so viturative if Mr. Osborne were not a Tory?
I am happy to say that I am a card-carrying Tory. Might you care to reveal the national
party to which you offer support?

2. Please list for us the rules that you claim Mr. Osborne has broken?

3. Can you please list any laws that you think he has broken ?

4. I am sufficiently aged to not be too sure exactly what you mean by 'having it large', so
perhaps you might elucidate for us mature types ?

5. You mention Mr. Osborne's 'mortgage arrangements'; might you make clear what
you mean by your somewhat vague question's implications ?

6. You do not 'pick up on' my point above about how many of out noble Parliamentarians
have more than one paying job. Should you not 'have a go' at the general malaise rather
than pick on just one ?

Have a nice day.
Alan Brough
Friday 21st April 2017 at 4:42 pm
Hi Duncan,

Do you mean vituperative? Who me??

Not that it's any business of yours, but I am an instinctive Conservative supporter. However, I have been somewhat thwarted as I have been unable to vote for either Neil Hamilton or George Osborne on moral grounds.

I don't think I need explain my concerns over Neil Hamilton.

As for Mr Osborne. I think that it's fair to say that he manipulated (flipped) the designation of his Rainow home and his mortgage arrangements very cleverly to ensure that he took full advantage of allowances.

If I understand it correctly (and I'm sure he'll be along to correct me if I'm wrong) he was able to recover most of the money paid on an "interest only" mortgage. Furthermore, having paid little or nothing of his own money in mortgage repayments, I understand that he benefitted handsomely from the appreciation in value of the property from the time he (or we) bought it to the time he (or we) sold it.

I wrote to him to express my concerns that, at a time (start of the recession) when he was encouraging us to tighten our belts and prepare for austerity, he was perversely gaining huge personal financial advantage from the poor downtrodden taxpayer.

I got a response from Mr Osborne advising me that everything he did was within the rules. I don't doubt that this is the case but when I wrote again to ask if he thought that what he did was morally right I didn't get an answer.

So no, you've beat me. I cant say that he did anything illegal. But in my opinion he is immoral, self serving and abusive of the position of trust in which he was placed. His contemptuous attempt at justifying his other jobs further prove my point

I am pleased he has gone - though I wish sincerely that we could have had the opportunity of voting him out of office with a bloody nose.
Duncan Herald
Friday 21st April 2017 at 5:47 pm
Hi Alan,
If you were to change from 'getting at' Mr. Osborne and instead call for a clean out of the whole Westminster Augean stable, then I'd be with you !

Now we await the French election result ! What price a Frexit vote ?
Alan Brough
Friday 21st April 2017 at 9:21 pm
I don't believe we're a million miles apart Duncan.

I only "get at" George Osborne because he arrogantly assumes to speak in my name - but Gideon is simply representative of what party politics has become - the facile manipulation of dull-thinking people.

I have spent most of this week in Holland and (interestingly) whilst my Dutch colleagues cant understand why on earth we voted for Brexit. They all agree that the EU is a corrupt, manipulative and dysfunctional layer of political control that they would be better off without......er?

Lets see what happens in France - Mme Le Pen sails through the first ballot and is obliterated in the second is my guess - we'll see.
Duncan Herald
Saturday 22nd April 2017 at 9:38 am
To mis-quote a football chant;
'come on you Le Pens' ;
out of the euro and a Frexit vote ! Who would then be the next to 'cut and run' ?

It is easy to forget that in terms of longevity, the present incarnation of a 'Eurostate' is rather short lived. Charlemagne is spinning in his grave! Bring back the Angevin Empire ? The Russian Communist 'Empire' set up collapsed after about 100 years !
Elaine Napier
Monday 24th April 2017 at 11:32 am
Oh dear, Esther McVey. Remembering her attitude to the disabled, I'm can't help thinking of out the frying pan into the fire. Another arrogant, selfservative!

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