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.

Frank Maltby
Wednesday 19th April 2017 at 4:35 pm
Good riddance! Best news I've heard from him yet, but I suppose it wasn't worth doing in view of his other earnings.
Gerald Norden
Wednesday 19th April 2017 at 5:01 pm
Martin Bell, as an Independent was a dedicated Constituency Representative - the stranglehold held by the Establishment political parties requires the present voting system to remain.
Only Proportional Representation would be a fair system for voters, so will Tatton be awaiting a "Parachuted in" candidate for a safe (Blue scarf) Tory seat? .
Richard Burgess
Wednesday 19th April 2017 at 5:36 pm
Good riddance to bad rubish I always thought he was the most insincere member of parliament that ever was.
Gwynneth Littleton
Wednesday 19th April 2017 at 5:48 pm
Not often that you get what you wish for......but who now will be in line for a safe seat.? I will watch with interest. Gwynneth Littleton.
Terry Roeves
Wednesday 19th April 2017 at 6:01 pm
A new road to improve traffic flow for Altrincham/Manchester
plus a Stockport bypass? Is that it Rod? Nothing else?
Perhaps the Alderley bypass? Or is that a sore point for Wilmslow?
There are others surely, but let's wait for Private Eye's summary, after all, Lord Gnome has followed his career for some years.
Rod Menlove
Wednesday 19th April 2017 at 6:29 pm
Is that it, Terry?
These are £multi-million projects that were in urgent need decades ago. George made them happen on his watch and if you drive in this area why are you not pleased. Thank you for adding the AE by-pass that was first on the plans in the 1930s and why should that be a sore point for anyone?
Barry Buxton
Wednesday 19th April 2017 at 6:45 pm
Who cares who the next MP will be when the constituency is due to be abolished as part of a long overdue reform to make the Commons more efficient.
Raymond Walker
Wednesday 19th April 2017 at 8:17 pm
When the surprise Tory announcement was made some wanted Brexit to succeed but not to vote in Osborne again since he has shown himself little in serving his constituency, seeming to consider Tatton as a puppet to feed his ambitions. The impudence of accepting an important Editorial post whilst meant to be working full time for his voters has been disgraceful.
To audaciously spend a month with Cameron campaigning to remain in Europe with nobody running Downing St seemed out of order. Visits to his constituency have been infrequent, and two requests by me for a surgery meeting were dismissed. He has had the sense to step down before losing his seat. He would never have brought useful skills to the Northern Powerhouse quango so the North should forget involving him.
Tatton now need to carefully examine the local involvement of a future candidate and make sure surgeries become a regular event again.
Birgitta Hoffmann
Wednesday 19th April 2017 at 8:53 pm
Official statement by our Parliamentary candidate Gareth Wilson​ on the decision of George Osborne not to stand as a Conservative Candidate:

"I'm delighted the George Osborne has decided not to stand in the upcoming election, although frankly I'm disappointed that it was only the threat of being challenged in an election that made him stand down. Being the Editor of a major British newspaper while being an MP was a national scandal and I doubt even he could have stood the public scrutiny a general election campaign would have brought on the matter"

"We look forward to finding out who the Tories stand as a candidate, no doubt it will be another parachuted politician from outside the constituency with no links to the community."

Posted by the Secretary of the Tatton Liberal-Democrats.
Nick Jones
Wednesday 19th April 2017 at 9:26 pm
We can guess whats next from TattTories... “ Unanimous support among the members for our new local MP, xxxx ( **Please fill in the gap ... with someones name from The Northern Powerhouse HQ @ London ) ".

“(He or she) has always been able to work hard as a local MP as well as being a figure on the national stage and hold down a number of other better paid jobs and serve us well -ish "
“We've got complete confidence in (His or Her ) ability “ “ (He or she) is our star." "Next Question !! "
Sycophantic support for someone who wont either know or care about the local area or the issues. Its a little bit sad really ... but history does have a strange way of repeating itself... Fortunately 100 people at Tatt T HQ dont represent the electorate...
50 Days....
Richard Birchall
Wednesday 19th April 2017 at 10:07 pm
This is the best news for sometime.

Let Tatton constituents be bold and elect a genuine independent MP who will put constituents first rather than be a poodle to Conservative HQ. Martin Bell has been the best MP we have had in many decades, dedicated to local issues. It's not healthy for our local democracy to be so dominated in Parliament and our Council by just Tories.
Jon Newell
Thursday 20th April 2017 at 6:37 am
Can we be sure of the abilities of the relevant authorities to pick a suitable candidate for what is likely to be a single term with the boundary changes imminent?
Whatever anyone says about George and his local commitment, multiple jobs, etc, (and there is much to say),we must remember that the last "successful" Tory choice was the appalling Hamilton.
Graham Shaw
Thursday 20th April 2017 at 7:09 am
What's the matter George, afraid that you've upset your constituents so much that they won't vote for you in this election?????
Martin Lewis
Thursday 20th April 2017 at 8:22 am
Did somebody just whisper that Michael Jones hadn't got too much on at this moment!
Simon Worthington
Thursday 20th April 2017 at 9:11 am
Good ridance at last. Perhaps Gideon didn't want the risk of being rejected. Will we get another self serving outsider with a blue rosette. Step forward Nick Robinson or another local with the desire to serve your constituents and not just enhance your future earnings. As with the inept council we need independents.
John Clegg
Thursday 20th April 2017 at 11:03 am
I'm not one for sticking up for George but I understand the post of chancellor of the exchequer usually prevents the incumbent from more fully meeting his constituents' interests, where local surgeries are not as frequent as other constituencies. Does the current structure allow for this by having a locum political "surgeon" attend in his place, when he's away on business in Davos or Corfu?

We should be more praiseworthy of our current MP who had the remarkable perception and clarity of foresight to be able to inflict a punitive - er, emergency budget on the disloyal plebs - er, electorate in preparation for the turmoil ahead only days after the Brexit vote.

He claimed that Brexit would destroy house prices – like that would be a bad thing in a country & an economy where property values are over-heating, especially in the South East and desirable areas like Tatton, and there is no way to go for 1st time buyers and others who want to move into affordable accommodation. So he couldn’t recognize a classic investment “bubble” which needed attention, rather than Daily Mail-friendly support.

Add to this the connivance - passive or not - in reducing the number of HMRC staff, especially those in inspection and collection roles.

On top of this, there is the ever-growing perception that the Eton & Co. elite were ever stamping down on the lower orders, by removing benefits for shirkers and malingerers - or that is how anyone claiming benefit are portrayed by a supine printed press.
John Clegg
Thursday 20th April 2017 at 11:25 am
And there's the PFI issue, which the Tories criticized when New Labour extended this questionable form of "outside" "investing" in capital infrastructure projects - started, of course, by the previous Tory govt as a method of keeping debt off the nation's accounts.
The Tory-led coalition had the ideal opportunity to bring in-house projects and begin new ones by using the cheap money available following the 2007/08-and-onwards financial crisis - low interest rates, quantative-easing - to build these projects as national assets rather than traded by banks, private wealth vehicles. However, that would have been really upsetting to bankers, consultants, legal firms and others who have an interest in earning large fees arising from advice, etc.
Manuel Golding
Thursday 20th April 2017 at 12:30 pm
Our MP has saved a lot of his constituents from a dilemma - Conservatives who believe he was the main architect of the then government's dishonest campaign to deter the country from voting Leave during the Referendum campaign, so how does one come to terms with voting for him? He has done the right thing by resigning.

However, he is still living in La La Land when he writes "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."

Straight facts! Informed opinion! It was your ghastly threat to have a post Referendum emergency budget should the voters dare vote to Leave, plus you rolling in countless friends from the likes of the IMF, Obama et al to threaten us with their uninformed "opinions", bent "facts" and threats to "going to the back of the queue" that probably were the bullets that destroyed your disinformation strategy.

Come off it George, you may kid yourself but not the electorate. It was your very own manipulation of "facts" and prejudicial proliferation of your so called "informed opinion" that so antagonised the majority of voters. Live by the sword, die by the sword.

Let us disregard those commentators on here, who I will not name but we all know who, who are acting as sycophantic flag wavers for a sunken demi-god.

With a new Conservative candidate with a clean sheet of paper, a lot of us will be able to vote willingly and without concerns for that candidate.
John Clegg
Thursday 20th April 2017 at 1:26 pm
Manuel points towards some things of which we ought to be aware. In this period of alternative facts and post-truths, we now know that people can get elected on a set of "promises" which can be then ditched at the first opportunity.
We've known this for a while.
I couldn't really believe how quickly Tony dropped his disguise as soon as possible after his 1997 victory - and that some of his fans were still lured on by his almost holy guiding light years later. For that reason, plus many other more contemporary ones, I can't ever vote Labour.
Nowadays I can't bring myself to vote Tory either but I should be naturall inclined so to do, with their pathetically transparent "we're-all-in-it-together" comedy schtick.
I did in 2010 but then there wasn't really an alternative.
So that's it, is it? Vote for the least worst option? That's hardly a choice.
Manuel Golding
Thursday 20th April 2017 at 1:33 pm
Our MP has saved a lot of his constituents from a dilemma - Conservatives who believe he was the main architect of the then government's dishonest campaign to deter the country from voting Leave during the Referendum campaign, so how does one come to terms with voting for him? He has done the right thing by resigning.

However, he is still living in La La Land when he writes "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."

Straight facts! Informed opinion! It was your ghastly threat to have a post Referendum emergency budget should the voters dare vote to Leave, plus you rolling in countless friends from the likes of the IMF, Obama et al to threaten us with their uninformed "opinions", bent "facts" and threats to "going to the back of the queue" that probably were the bullets that destroyed your disinformation strategy.

Come off it George, you may kid yourself but not the electorate. It was your very own manipulation of "facts" and prejudicial proliferation of your so called "informed opinion" that so antagonised the majority of voters. Live by the sword, die by the sword.

Let us disregard those commentators on here, who I will not name but we all know who, who are acting as sycophantic flag wavers for a sunken demi-god.

With a new Conservative candidate with a clean sheet of paper, a lot of us will be able to vote willingly and without concerns for that candidate.
Richard Slater
Thursday 20th April 2017 at 3:38 pm
Ah yes Mr Menlove, he has brought us the 2 bypasses, so more roads access to greenbelt to build on, I guess the greenbelt bashers at Cheshire East were delighted.

Good job George was there to smoothly push through Adlington Road too, despite substantial local objection.

Good old George!
Nick Jones
Thursday 20th April 2017 at 6:27 pm
@ Manuel.. I think you have a valid point with the ‘clean sheet’ approach;
George did address issues I raised, and he did make things happen ‘on his watch’ after he inherited a fiscal mess that he significantly addressed. But others in CEC appear engaged in fiscal frittering and waste on a grand scale that must sit very uncomfortably with such a prudent man. Those who gave him and his 6 jobs their total support however were unfortunately ‘asleep on their watch’; Lyme Green- decisions made without cllrs knowledge, at significant cost to the taxpayer. Corefit- Further ongoing cost from Michael Jones & ongoing law enforcement investigation ,[ he who promised to “make Cheshire East Council more transparent and open” then oversaw resignations of others involved in Lyme Green and other matters, accompanied by handsome severance payments]. Cllrs public declaring “ No need for an investigation” then CEC Chief Exec Michel Suarez suspended. Cllrs voting against public concern on repeated occasions to remove the Green Belt protection, Local Plan engagement demonstrably dismissed, non-compliance to Govt planning policy ignoring the ‘exceptional circumstance’ criteria placing Green belt at risk, Ignoring Brownfield development, PCC increasing precept then appointing his family friend as his Deputy withholding her CV and not removing himself from the ‘process’ and now looking for a chief of staff at more cost. Adlington ‘never build on these fields’ Road, CEC reorganising into directorates (more significant cost) to become self-funding ?, appointment of a disbarred director , Newly created ‘Executive Directors’ role.. following on from Messrs’ Wenzel, Riley& Suarez etc…. The costly Co-Socious debacle, Kim Ryley's ignored review of management roles and responsibilities seeking to save £5m and the end of 'silo' working resulting in more cost 2 Silos at East and West and a 4% Tax rise (declared as a saving !) and a constant failure to merge the two 1/2s of our small county. The acknowledgement of individual and collective shortcomings and failures constantly swept to one side, the total absence of meaningful explanation. So all this costly ‘disappointed' portrayal of CEC for no good cause” maybe has some substance ? Maybe George [Who is an accomplished statesman and no ones fool !] after the notoriety of Cash Hamilton in Tatton and the huge success of Martin ‘Integrity’ Bell and the mess identified above was glad to get away from all this and those responsible .... and who could blame him. I look forward to reading his memoirs
Likely replacements
Stephen Moseley ? Esther McVey ? Saj Karim ? Jacqui Foster ? or Vic Barlow ? Who Knows

49 days...
Dave Cash
Friday 21st April 2017 at 1:48 am
The next elected MP for Tatton will be 'a dead person walking' under imminent removal by electoral Boundary Commission.

Cons et al may 'parachute in' a likely candidate until the Boundary Commission changes.
Manuel Golding
Friday 21st April 2017 at 3:08 pm
@ Nick, I wholeheartedly agree with almost all your valid observations, especially those relating to outrageous, arrogant, we don't wish to hear our voters, attitudes of so many of the ruling Conservative CEC clique, especially those supposedly representing Wilmslow. But they do not, they only represent the ruling Conservative needs.

As a Conservative I find their collective, lemming like stances utterly beneath contempt. In days gone by, up to probably the late 1980s our local Conservative representatives, on both Macc B C & Cheshire County, did show true concern for their voters. Unfortunately, those days have long gone as are the men & women of integrity. We are nowadays saddled with "yes men". Their attitudes & blinkered following of party policy makes a very strong case for independent councillors. Residents of Wilmslow has made a start with the invaluable help of the electorate of Dean Row with the election of Councillor Toni Fox. She speaks for her voters, for their interests, not those of the ruling group. Hopefully, Wilmslow will see how badly let down, indeed deceived, it has been by the Conservatives and we will be able to elect a new, clean group of RoW independents next time of asking. who will be totally committed to the voters interest.

Changing tact slightly, I read Theresa May's parting words of advice to the former chancellor when she was sacking him, "Go away and learn some emotional intelligence".
She summed him up precisely. In RoWs conversations with George this is what was apparently so frustratingly obvious. He failed to, or wished not to, understand our concerns with the rape of the town's and the rest of the north of the Borough's Green Belt. The then council leader, Michael Jones, was his constant companion in our talks & he proffered what we assumed was the Council's policy. In fact, Cllr Jones was simply reiterating Osborne & government strategy which was disregarding so many elements of Green Belt protection. Osborne always hid behind Michael Jones putting all our points to him for Jones's answers, whilst both ignored our very real concerns with George's policy strategies. (Interspersed were Cllr Jones' promises to protect both the Adlington Road field and the field on Alderley Road, the latter backed up by our MP at a meeting with RoW & others)

Mrs May was quite right, George just didn't have the "emotional intelligence" to understand nor appreciate the anxieties RoW and other like-minds had in the constituency.

The council leadership, blindly followed by our local Wilmslow Conservative councillors, just did as they were required to satisfy the desires & whims of our MP, just like turkeys voting for Christmas. Unfortunately not one, not a single one, had either the ability, common sense, vision, guts or backbone to stand up for their voters and declare "the emperor has no clothes".

Do we need Independent councillors? Yes, indeed we do - our councillors have more than made the Residents of Wilmslow case for their replacement. At the next council elections, 2019, remember it will be the independents who will be putting constituents first and last, certainly not a party's political needs.

Do send your concerns to the new editor of the (London) Evening Standard after the 2nd May. Interesting to see if the new editor will publish letters from Tatton & wider Cheshire residents.
Pete Taylor
Sunday 23rd April 2017 at 12:19 pm
"...rescued the economy". The man is delusional to the end! This is the chap who doubled the country's debt and failed every one of his own targets.
Let's not even try to count how many U-turns he made. First Chancellor in history to say that some of the things in his budget speech were "just suggestions".

An incredible record; the 97 party members at the recent constituency meeting must be proud of him.

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