‘It is a long time since George Osborne has held the distinguished role in the unwritten British constitution of the Next Prime Minister. He gave up the post with his ill-judged 2012 Budget in which he trashed his own slogan, “All in it together”, by cutting the top rate of income tax. Since then he has been trying to win back the Next Prime Minister title, but today he finally accepted that his political career is over, announcing that he will not be contesting his Tatton constituency on 8 June.
Of course, he suggests that he may be back, saying: “I am stepping down from the House of Commons – for now.” And it could happen. Westminster is alive with speculation at the moment about the possible return of David Miliband and Ed Balls. But it is mostly bravado with a dash of mischief.’