Tory big beast Ken Clarke reveals he will seek re-election in June

 
Mark Sands
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Vince Cable And Kenneth Clarke Give Evidence To The Leveson Inquiry
Clarke first entered the House of Commons in 1970 (Source: Getty)

Long-sitting Tory MP and former chancellor Ken Clarke has revealed that he will seek re-election at Theresa May's June vote, despite previous plans to quit parliament.

Clarke, regarded as the last of the Conservative "big beasts", has represented Rushcliffe for almost 50 years, and had been expected to step down in 2020.

And the change of election timing had raised questions over whether the MP would leave parliament early, but Clarke has today confirmed that he will seek re-election.

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First entering the House of Commons in 1970, he has held senior roles in both government and opposition, with Tory leaders including Margaret Thatcher, John Major and David Cameron all handing Clarke top-level roles.

And the 76-year-old Conservative MP has been the holder of the "father of the house" title as parliament's longest-sitting MP since the death of Sir Gerald Kaufman

Europhile Clarke was also the only Conservative MP to vote against handing May powers to trigger Article 50 in the House of Commons.

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He holds a majority of more than 13,000 in his constituency of Rushcliffe.

It comes after his fellow former chancellor George Osborne revealed he would quit parliament. Osborne is to become editor of the Evening Standard in May.

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