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Former UK chancellor George Osborne has stood down as an MP ahead of an expected snap election and following his decision to become editor of London newspaper the Evening Standard.

Announcing his resignation in the Standard, Mr Osborne, a Conservative MP for Tatton, said:

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 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.

The former chancellor’s decision to take the role at the Standard, despite having no formal journalistic experience, drew criticism over potential conflicts of interest while he remained a sitting MP.

Mr Osborne’s constituency in the north of England is due to be abolished in boundary changes due to come in effect in 2018. He was sacked from the cabinet following the appointment of Theresa May as prime minister last summer and has served as a Tory MP for 16 years.

Aside from his editorship, Mr Osborne will earn £650,000 a year at investment giant BlackRock where he will work for four days a month.

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