Osborne said today he had no intention of following David Cameron and standing down from parliament. “I don’t want to write my memoirs because I don’t know how the story ends and I want to hang around and find out,” he said. “I want to fight for the things I care about.”
“Politics is a tough business, but I think one of the things I’m coming to understand is that you can push and fight for your ideas from different places inside the House of Commons chamber, either as an opposition or as a Government backbench MP.”
In a message to May, he added: “I will be championing the things I have always cared about, where is the voice for the liberal mainstream majority of this country who do not want to be governed from the extremes.”
He also appeared to offer a lukewarm endorsement of May’s Conservative leadership election victory, even though he voted for her. “I think she is the best person for the job – of the candidates who put themselves forward,” he said.
Osborne also admitted he misjudged the “national mood” in the run-up to the EU referendum. “I don’t think I properly understood the alienation that many people felt, not just from the European Union but from the establishment; our system of government, that economic insecurity and a sense of loss of identity in too many of our communities were something we had not properly addressed and they were all ingredients of that vote,” he said.