The health secretary, Jeremy Hunt, has said he is “seriously considering” running for Prime Minister in the Conservative leadership race.
When asked if he would join the leadership race during an interview with ITV’s Good Morning Britain he said: “I am seriously considering it. Nominations close on Thursday lunchtime.
“But what I want to do now is start making an argument as to what we do next as a country. This is a big, big change and, you know, if we get it right we can succeed.”
During the interview Hunt advocated a second referendum after detailing his argument earlier in a comment piece for The Telegraph.
Hunt, who supported the Remain campaign, said the UK should strike a deal with the EU and put it to the British people either in another referendum or in a Conservative manifesto at a general election.
He said: “The people have spoken – and Parliament must listen. Britain must and will leave the EU. But we did not vote on the terms of our departure.”
Hunt described a potential deal with the EU as a “Norway plus” option with “full access to the single market with a sensible compromise on free movement rules.”
In a later interview with ITN News, he said: “It’s going to be a very, very difficult period. I have got experience running difficult government departments. I ran my own business before going into politics.”
While he emphasised that other candidates have relevant experience he added that “what’s important is not the personalities, it’s the vision for the kind of Britain we want to be”.
Some, however, have called for the next Prime Minister to be a supporter of the Vote Leave campaign.
Hunt said it is more important that the next leader “accepts the verdict of the British people and I do, and I know all of my colleagues in the Conservative party do as well.”
The health secretary had previously said in April, ahead of the first junior A&E doctors strike, that his current position was likely to be his “last big job in politics”.
He said at the time: “This is likely to be my last big job in politics and the one thing that will keep me awake at night is if I didn’t do the right thing to help make the NHS one of the safest, highest-quality healthcare systems in the world.”
Parliament was also forced to call a debate in September after more than 220,000 people signed a petition calling for Hunt’s resignation as health secretary.