George Osborne keeps quiet on his leadership plans in first post-referendum appearance

Jake Cordell
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George Osborne offered no words on whether he plans to run in the race t succeed David Cameron
George Osborne offered no words on whether he plans to run in the race t succeed David Cameron (Source: Getty)

George Osborne refused to be drawn on whether he will be running to succeed David Cameron as prime minister later this year, in his first appearance since the UK voted to leave the EU.

As he intervened to calm the markets and killed off the prospects of the post-Brexit "emergency Budget", the chancellor confirmed an update on his own position in the Conservative leadership race — and the government — would be made "in the coming days".

David Cameron announced his resignation on Friday morning, hours after the result of the referendum was confirmed. Save for a few tweets over the weekend, however, the chancellor has been noticeably absent.

"There will be questions about the future of the Conservative Party, and I will address my role within that in the coming days," he said.

Brexit Britain: What you need to know

Top Leave campaigner Boris Johnson is thought to be preparing a leadership bid after signing up Michael Gove to run his campaign and hosting informal talks with a close circle of advisers over the weekend.

Osborne's chances of succeeding Cameron were believed to have been delivered a fatal blow after the UK voted to Leave, since the chancellor was such a prominent figure in the Remain campaign and seen as the chief advocate of so-called "Project Fear". However, his refusal to address his position will fuel speculation he is considering a bid, or is still in discussions about supporting one of his colleagues.

In a short speech inside the Treasury this morning, Osborne also outlined the resilience of the UK economy and confirmed the "emergency budget" he threatened in the campaign will not take place.

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