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Jeremy Hunt rules himself out of Tory leadership race

by editor

LONDON — Britain’s outgoing Chancellor Jeremy Hunt will not stand to be the next leader of the Conservative Party.

Hunt, who twice ran and lost in previous contests, ruled himself out of the race to replace Rishi Sunak as party leader Saturday. “No … that time has passed,” he told GB News.

Outgoing Prime Minister Sunak is due to stand down as head of the center-right party after leading the Conservatives to a catastrophic defeat to Keir Starmer’s center-left Labour Party in the U.K. general election .

Hunt is one of the most experienced of the surviving Tory MPs. He first became chancellor under Liz Truss’s short-lived premiership after she was forced to ditch Kwasi Kwarteng following an ill-judged budget.

He retained the role under Sunak, and previously served as foreign secretary under Theresa May and health secretary and culture secretary under David Cameron.

In Thursday’s general election, Hunt narrowly hung on to his constituency of Godalming and Ash, having been expected to be wiped out in the Labour landslide.

Four former Tory home office ministers are thought to be readying leadership bids: James Cleverly, Suella Braverman, Robert Jenrick and Priti Patel. Ex-Security Minister Tom Tugendhat is expected to launch a centrist bid to rule the party.

With the Conservatives divided on a number of issues, including tax and immigration, the contest could be a fractious one.

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