Within minutes of David Cameron announcing he had resigned as an MP, a frenzy of speculation began to mount about his motives.
Two and a half months after he stepped down as Prime Minister, many believed he had a healthy experience to lend to the House of Commons and were surprised at his Blair-like exit from politics.
Cameron had repeatedly said he would remain in parliament as an MP, even after his departure as Prime Minister.
But given the notably quick U-turn, many began guessing about what could have driven him so suddenly from office.
From not wanting to suffer at the hands of Jeremy Corbyn’s Labour in 2020 to a highly critical report into his role in the intervention of Libya, here are ten of the most insightful and funny suggestions:
1. He never recovered from being called a pie
It’s understandable. As Internet insults go from frontbench politicians, this one from Jeremy Corbyn’s Twitter account might have hit a little deeper than first thought.
The post from January, which was deleted swiftly after first appearing, also took aim at the Prime Minister’s policy on nuclear armament, with the eloquent message: “Fuck trident”.
2. He’s walking away from country and constituency
Having held a referendum he managed to spectacularly lose, Cameron “walked away from the country”, Unison general secretary Dave Prentis claimed on Monday.
Despite that, the pain of losing a vote he never expected to have to deliver on was too much for him to continue in politics, Prentis said. “Now he’s done the same to his constituents.”
3. Too far from Theresa
The BBC’s Nick Robinson suggested Cameron could have stepped down to avoid an awkward conflict between his successor’s education policies and his own legacy.
In 2007, the former Witney MP described grammar schools as an “electoral albatross” and said they would be a gift to Labour.
Robinson questioned whether his devout opposition to the new plans pioneered by Theresa May could have precipitated his exit from the backbenches.
While Labour’s Lord Prescott echoed the sentiment, suggesting: “He can’t bring himself to vote for May’s return of grammar schools”.
4. Out for income
Others speculated about how Cameron’s finances after his six year stint as PM could have contributed to today’s decision.
Given that he will no longer be obliged to declare gifts, donations or income in the Register of Members’ Interests that all MPs are required to, Cameron will be free to make money from speeches and post-prime ministerial tasks without fear of the sums being made public.
5. Overshadowing Osborne
Some wondered whether Cameron just couldn’t resist taking the limelight off his close ally George Osborne.
News emerged earlier today that the former Chancellor was due to lose his seat as part of leaked boundary commission plans to cut the number of MPs from 650 to 600.
One of the highest profile MPs to be hit by the overhaul, there was speculation that Cameron could have been looking to pinch the limelight off his old friend.
6. Concealing Corbyn
While more people questioned if it was actually a secret ploy to grab headlines from Jeremy Corbyn.
The Labour leader is another of those tipped to lose his seat as part of the constituency review, leaving some to question if Cameron was simply trying to “on-up” his former rival.
7. Getting out ahead
Of course, no resignation list would be complete without some claiming he was bending to the mighty will of Corbyn’s political force.
Some suggested he was ducking from public office to avoid the “humiliation” of standing again in 2020 only to be up-rooted from the seat he won with a comfortable 13% majority in 2015.
8. Legging it before Libya
As the Guardian’s Patrick Wintour noted, Cameron’s resignation came ahead of a report tipped to be “very critical” of the role Britain under his leadership played in intervening in Libya.
“Brexit will not be his only foreign policy legacy,” Wintour warned.
9. Fudging it for the football
Former England star Gary Lineker came up with a novel answer and managed to get a dig in at Cameron too.
The footballing legend mused Cameron could have resigned to spend more time watching his favourite football team, West Ham - something he famously forgot in 2015, saying he was in fact an Aston Villa fan.
10. Distracting Dave
Cameron has claimed the sole and real reason behind his resignation is not wanting to “distract” from Theresa May’s new administration.
Announcing his decision to step down today, Cameron said: “In my view, with modern politics, with the circumstances of my resignation, it isn’t really possible to be a proper backbench MP as a former prime minister.
“I think everything you do will become a big distraction and a big diversion from what the government needs to do for our country.”
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