The Daily Telegraph

I’ll represent Richmond as long as people want me, says Sunak

- By Tony Diver

RISHI SUNAK has failed to promise he will stand again for Parliament at the next election, as he faces a stint on the back benches if he does not win today.

The former chancellor said it would be “presumptuo­us” to assume he would be selected by his constituen­cy associatio­n as candidate for the next election, but pledged to remain in Parliament in the meantime.

It had previously been suggested that Mr Sunak would prefer to leave politics and return to California, where he met his wife Akshata Murty while studying at Stanford University.

But yesterday he told the BBC’S Laura Kuenssberg that he would remain as an MP and “support the Conservati­ve government”. Liz Truss is expected to win the leadership contest when results are announced at lunchtime today.

Mr Sunak has experience­d a swift rise in Parliament since becoming an MP in 2015, and being appointed to the Treasury as chancellor in February 2020. He spent time with activists in his constituen­cy after polls closed on Friday, adding: “It’s been a great privilege to represent them as MP for Richmond in North Yorkshire, I’d love to keep doing that as long as they’ll have me.”

Asked if he planned to run again as an MP at the next election, he said: “I was with my members on Friday night and it’s been a great privilege to represent them. And I know I can do good work for them.”

One ally told The Sunday Times he was unlikely to return to the world of business or start a career in technology because he is already wealthy.

“He is absolutely minted, and while he never really talks about it… going to work for Facebook means nothing to him, because he probably earns more from his investment­s,” the source said.

“The only reason you give politics up is for money, family or health, and I don’t know if there’s a job big enough on this planet to tempt him out of politics.”

Asked yesterday if he would consider another tilt at the Tory leadership, Mr Sunak said: “Oh gosh. We’ve just finished this campaign. So, I’d say… I need to recover from this one. But I look forward to supporting the Conservati­ve government in whatever capacity.”

Mr Sunak could follow Jeremy Hunt, who ran against Boris Johnson in the 2019 Tory leadership race, but has since taken charge of Parliament’s Health and Social Care Committee.

He is expected to contribute to debates in Parliament on the economy, following his stints as chancellor and chief secretary to the treasury.

The father-of-two has described himself as an “appalling father and husband” during the leadership race and has also pledged to spend more time with them when it is over.

His wife and mother, who has featured prominentl­y in his campaign as a childhood inspiratio­n, were present at the final leadership hustings in London last week.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from United Kingdom