"By 2015 I will have been the Member of Parliament for Taunton Deane for ten years. That is generally long enough to do the same job.
"It is not my ambition to remain in Parliament until I retire. I have been very committed to the role and I have done it to the best of my ability. It is time to do something different.
"There is a world beyond politics full of opportunities and it will be exciting to explore it."I do wonder what the chair of Taunton Deane Liberal Democrats made of Jeremy Browne's resignation letter. I suspect Jeremy's excitement about his own future was the not the chair's first concern.
But I am sorry to see Jeremy stand down and wish him well for the future. The Liberal Democrats need their Whigs as well as their Radicals (as Donnachadh McCarthy used to say), and Jeremy was one of the more interesting figures on the right of the party.
He has even published two books this year, though I have to say his blend of turbo-capitalism and National Efficiency in Race Plan did not do it for me. And it was positively odd for him to claim that such an idiosyncratic view of the world constituted "authentic liberalism".
I suspect Jeremy still feels hard done by because of his sacking as a minister. As I argued last year, he was unlucky to be moved from the Foreign Office, where he at least seemed at home, as part of what I suspected was a deal to get David Laws back into front-line politics.
But on the whole, I think he has been lucky in the press he has received, The Conservatives have consistently said warm things about him, presumably in the hope of getting him to join them.
Here is Nick Boles tweeting today as an example:
So the last proper liberal announces he is leaving the LibDems. The modern Conservative Party is the true home for Gladstone's heirs.
— Nick Boles (@NickBolesMP) October 15, 2014
It seems Boles has not received the memo about flattering the protectionist instincts of Ukip and its supporters.
But the left has been complimentary too. Here is George Eaton in the New Statesman:
In appearance and ideology, Browne is as far from the Lib Dems’ beard-and-sandals brigade as it is possible to be. With his crisp suits and gleaming shoes, it’s easier to imagine him in the boardroom of JPMorgan than canvassing in a wet by-election.But Jeremy's career has taken him nowhere near Wall Street. What Eaton is saying is that Jeremy has a public-school accent and wears good suits.
I suspect that tells us more about the state of British politics (or about George Eaton of the New Statesman) than it does about Jeremy Browne.