George Osborne has announced he is quitting as an MP “for now” and will not seek re-election to parliament at the snap general election called by Theresa May for June 8.
In a letter to his local Conservative Party in his Tatton constituency, the former Tory chancellor said he would now focus on editing the Evening Standard.
But he left open the possibility he would seek to return to the Commons at some point in the future.
According to the newspaper he now edits, Osborne said: “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.”
Osborne had faced calls to resign as an MP after accepting the job of editing the Evening Standard amid concerns it was a conflict of interest.
The 45-year-old said in his statement: “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.”
Osborne was unceremoniously sacked from the cabinet when May took over as Tory leader and prime minister last July.