Rishi Sunak says he'll stay on as an MP if he loses general election

Rishi Sunak said he will "of course" stay on as an MP if he loses the next general election.

The prime minister said his North Yorkshire constituency is "wonderful" and he will remain in parliament whatever the outcome when the country goes to the polls.

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There has been speculation that Mr Sunak, who previously worked at a hedge fund in California, could be eyeing a job in Silicon Valley as the Tories struggle to make up ground against Labour.

But asked on ITV's Loose Women whether he would stay on the backbenches if his party loses, the MP for Richmond (Yorks) said: "Of course I'm staying. I love being an MP. I love my constituents, I love my home in North Yorkshire."

Mr Sunak was first elected to parliament in 2015.

Some of his predecessors have stayed on as backbenchers after stepping down, including Liz Truss and Theresa May.

But others have chosen to walk away from their political careers after being ousted from the top job.

David Cameron gave up his seat two months after resigning over the Brexit referendum, saying he did not want to be a "distraction", while Boris Johnson dramatically walked away from his Uxbridge constituency in protest at the findings of a parliamentary investigation into whether he lied about partygate.

This is the first time Mr Sunak has commented on what he will do if the Tories don't win the election.

Following a hammering at the local elections earlier this month, he admitted that this scenario was a possibility, but went on to insist the outcome is "not a forgone concision" amid predictions of a Labour landslide.

The prime minister would not be drawn on the date of the vote, telling the Loose Women panel his policies are "starting to make a difference" but "we're not there yet" in terms of the progress he wants to make before going to the polls.

It echoes similar language to Lord David Cameron, who told Sky News earlier this week that the Tories need more time "to show the plan is working".

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While November is seen as the mostly likely month for the election, it can be held as late as January 2025.

The decision ultimately lies with Mr Sunak, who has dismissed demands for a change of political course after the Tories suffered a mauling in the local elections, losing nearly 500 council seats, the West Midlands mayoralty and the Blackpool South constituency.

Mr Sunak told the panel that he is "determined more than ever to show the public that what we're doing is making a difference" on issues including the economy and migration.

"I'll happily come back and talk to you during the election. But I am focused on that, I am focused on the choice of that election," he said.

"We've been through a lot but I do think actually the things we are doing are starting to make a difference. We're not there yet, of course."