Exclusive: Osborne Playing Field 
Chancellor Has Eyes Set on Kensington Seat

Never believe anything until it’s officially denied, but rumbles are reaching Guido from the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea. Sources within Kensington, Chelsea & Fulham Conservatives say that Malcolm Rifkind is set to retire at the next election. No doubt he will be Lord Rifkind before long. With the boundary changes set to slim down the number of seats in London, neighbouring MP Mark Field is set to lose his Cities of London and Westminster patch, so he is watching developments with more than a keen eye. However things aren’t going to be that simple…

Elsewhere the Chancellor is in a tight spot given his Tatton seat is set to be shredded by the Boundary Commission. Though officially it doesn’t exist, sources indicate that Osborne is at the top of the list to replace Rifkind. He’s good mates with the chairman, has a home in the constituency and has been less than subtly pressing the flesh at recent Tory association events. Needless to say this will, Guido suspects, not have gone down well with Mark Field…

UPDATE: Informed sources have been in touch to say that Rifkind’s retirement plans may be being made only by others. This re-draw could be a real cock-fight.



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