Chancellor Jeremy Hunt ‘will not’ stand as Tory leader in the wake of prime minister Liz Truss’ resignation on Thursday, according to the BBC.
BBC chief political correspondent Nick Eardley reported Mr Hunt had “confirmed he will not stand to be the next Conservative leader and UK prime minister” just minutes after Ms Truss’ resignation statement on the steps of No10 Downing Street.
It comes just days after the South West Surrey MP was appointed the UK’s fourth chancellor in four months last Friday.
He also denied having any leadership ambitions in an interview with the BBC’s political editor Laura Kuenssberg on Sunday.
Asked if he would stand for leader for a third time if Truss stood down on BBC One’s Sunday With Laura Kuenssberg show, Mr Hunt said: “I think having run two leadership campaigns and, by the way, failed in both of them, the desire to be leader has been clinically excised from me.”
As prime minister for just 45 days, Liz Truss was the briefest serving PM in UK history, and blamed not being able to deliver her vision for a “low tax high growth economy” as the reason for her resignation.
She told reporters amassed in Downing Street she came into office at a time of “great economic and international instability” when the country had been held back by low economic growth for too long.
She said she was elected by her party with a “mandate to change this”, and had set out a vision for a “low tax high growth economy”.
But she added: “I recognise... given the situation I cannot deliver the mandate on which I was elected by the Conservative Party.”
Labour leader Kier Starmer wasted no time in calling for an immediate general election in the wake of the prime minister’s resignation.
He said: “The Conservative Party has shown it no longer has a mandate to govern.
“After 12 years of Tory failure, the British people deserve so much better than this revolving door of chaos.”
He added the Conservatives have left the country “weaker and worse off”.
“The Tories cannot respond to their latest shambles by yet again simply clicking their fingers and shuffling the people at the top without the consent of the British people,” he continued.
“They do not have a mandate to put the country through yet another experiment; Britain is not their personal fiefdom to run how they wish.
“We must have a chance at a fresh start. We need a general election - now.”