David Cameron denies he quit because he disagrees with Theresa May on grammar schools

The PM stepped down as an MP in a surprise move on Monday

Jon Stone
Monday 12 September 2016 19:40
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David Cameron steps down as MP

David Cameron has denied that his surprise resignation as an MP has anything to do with Theresa May’s plans to bring back grammar schools.

The Prime Minister, who said while in power that the selective institutions were “wrong”, said Ms May’s controversial proposal to increase their number had “nothing to do” with his decision to quit.

But he hinted in the interview that he did not want to be a former leader who was constantly creating a distraction to what the government is doing.

Ms May’s plans have already met some opposition on the Tory benches, including from the MP who served as Education Secretary under that Mr Cameron and until Mrs May moved into Downing Street.

Mr Cameron once said that bringing back grammar schools “has always been wrong and I never supported it”.

But asked as to whether Ms May’s reversal of his policy was the reason for his departure he said: “This decision has got nothing to do with any one individual issue and that way the timing I promise is coincidental but it goes to a bigger picture really which is, whatever the issue as a former PM, being a backbench MP, it’s difficult not to be a distraction and diversion and therefore build a reputation for yourself in politics that I don’t really want to have.”

Asked directly if he backed the policy he said there is “lots of merit” in the policy but that he did not want to get into the “wheres and whys”.

Mr Cameron, who has represented Witney in Oxfordshire since 2001, will trigger a by-election to find a successor for the area in Parliament.

He had stepped down as Prime Minister the morning of the 24 June European Union referendum result after it became clear he had accidentally taken Britain out of the bloc.

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