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Amber Rudd resigns: What next for the Hastings MP?

Amber Rudd has resigned as Home Secretary Credit: PA

Any other cabinet minister would have resigned much sooner.

But part of the reason Amber Rudd hung on was to try to protect the legacy of her predecessor as Home Secretary, Theresa May, writes ITV Meridian's Political Correspondent, Phil Hornby.

The Home Office has long been the graveyard of political ambition. Mrs May is one of the very few exceptions that prove the rule.

And, make no mistake, Amber Rudd was ambitious. She was often spoken of as a future party leader, although her prominent role in the Remain campaign meant she made enemies in her own party. Remember her jokes at Boris Johnson's expense in the TV debate?

Her other problem was her tiny majority, just 346, in Hastings and Rye. There was speculation she would try to find a safer seat next time round - although she categorically denied that when I asked her about it last week.

That was at a lunch in Parliament when she refused to say whether she had considered resigning, or offered her resignation.

Now she has gone. It is an extraordinary coincidence that the three big Cabinet resignations since the election have all been southeast MPs: Sir Michael Fallon (Sevenoaks), Damian Green (Ashford) and now Amber Rudd.

She now has to decide if she has a future in politics (Hastings and Rye will be a very tough fight at the next election) or whether she wants a different career.

She had other jobs before entering the Commons. She even appeared as an extra in Four Weddings and a Funeral.

But she will stay on as an MP for the rest of this Parliament. The very last thing a minority Tory government needs is a by-election in Hastings and Rye, a by-election they would almost certainly lose.

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