Cameron intends to stay as MP after 2020

British Prime Minister David Cameron at the Asian Lite office in Manchester. Photo: Arun Jacob Thomas (File)
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Cameron said he ‘loves’ being the MP for Witney and intends to stay on, allies might urge him to seek a third term

David Cameron is reported to have plans to run again as MP for Witney at the next general election even though he will have quit Number 10. This intention is said to have led some Tories to urge him to seek a third term as Prime Minister.

Mr Cameron told local radio he ‘loves’ being MP for the Oxfordshire constituency and revealed it was ‘very much my intention’ to stand for a fifth term in the House of Commons.

He is reported to have told BBC Radio Oxford, “I love being MP for Witney and am very keen to continue.” He also added that he intend to seek re-election.

British Prime Minister David Cameron at the Asian Lite office in Manchester. Photo: Arun Jacob Thomas (File)
British Prime Minister David Cameron at the Asian Lite office in Manchester. Photo: Arun Jacob Thomas (File)

It is believed that Mr Cameron would come under pressure from allies to renege on last year’s pre-election pledge to quit as leader by 2020 and instead stay on as Prime Minister. Mr Cameron’s intervention yesterday also holds open the possibility that he could follow the lead of former Spanish Prime Minister Jose Maria Aznar, who remained in office right up to his country’s election in 2004 but allowed his successor to fight it.

However, some Tory MPs believe Mr Cameron is likely to be forced out of office early – well before 2019 – as a result of Tory tensions over Europe unleashed by the referendum campaign.

In modern times, prime ministers have usually quit the Commons after stepping down. Margaret Thatcher, John Major and Gordon Brown all stood down at the first available election after leaving office. Tony Blair controversially decided to quit as an MP immediately, sparking a by-election in 2007.

If he does run again, Mr Cameron would echo the decisions of Ted Heath – who went on to become the Father of the House after being Prime Minister – and James Callaghan, who served as a Labour backbencher until 1987 after being PM.

Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg with Prime Minister David Cameron
Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg with Prime Minister David Cameron

Mr Cameron was first elected as MP for Witney in 2001. He became Tory leader after the 2005 General Election and entered No 10 as coalition Prime Minister after the 2010 poll.

Mr Cameron had announced ahead of last year’s general election that he would not seek a third term as PM in 2020 and has confirmed during the referendum campaign his plans to quit. The Prime Minister’s official spokeswoman stands by his original statement that his position on a third term remains unchanged.

In the interview, Mr Cameron is also reported to have revealed that he agreed with his mother about cuts to children’s centre in Oxfordshire. Mary Cameron’s decision to sign a petition against the cuts had caused the PM embarrassment last month. The Prime Minister is reported to have said that his mother has every right to make decisions of her own. Mr Cameron was accused of hypocrisy last year when he wrote to Oxfordshire County Council protesting plans for cuts in his constituency.