U.K. Defence Secretary Philip Hammond ruled himself out of the race to succeed Prime Minister David Cameron as leader of the Conservative Party.
Asked if he was flattered to be considered as a contender to lead the party, Hammond, who will be 60 at the time of the 2015 election, said he’s too old for the job and is focusing on overhauling the Ministry of Defence.
“They probably haven’t checked my birth certificate. I’m getting a bit long in the tooth for that kind of thing,” Hammond said in an interview published by The House magazine, which is distributed to lawmakers. “Through to the election will have given me 3 1/2 years in this role and I would expect by then to have some irreversible change baked into the way the MoD works. That’s what I’m focused on.”
Hammond is quoted at odds of 10-1 by bookmaker Ladbrokes Plc to be the next Tory leader, meaning a bet of 1 pound would win 10 pounds plus the stake. That makes him joint third favorite behind Home Secretary Theresa May at 4-1 and London Mayor Boris Johnson at 5-1. Education Secretary Michael Gove and Foreign Secretary William Hague are also 10-1 shots.
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