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MP to stand down after caution for assaulting his girlfriend

The MP for Bury St Edmunds, David Ruffley, is to stand down at the next general election in 2015 after he was cautioned by police for assaulting his girlfriend.

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David Ruffley to stand down at next election

David Ruffley agrees to stand down at next election

The Tory MP for Bury St Edmunds who apologised after receiving a police caution for domestic assault involving his former partner will stand down at the 2015 general election.

David Ruffley confirmed in a letter to his local Conservative Association that he will not stand for re-election next year, saying the "protracted media debate" on his private life would not serve the interests of the party in his constituency.

Mr Ruffley also said he was not willing to continue to sustain the "unrelenting orchestrated intrusion into my private life".

The MP revealed last week that he had apologised to his former partner for the March incident, which led to him accepting a caution for common assault.

Mr Ruffley said the woman had accepted his apology and stressed that he did not condone domestic violence "under any circumstances".

Writing to Andrew Speed, the chairman of the Bury St Edmunds Conservative Association, Mr Ruffley said: "Sadly, although I have apologised for a very regrettable incident last March and both my former partner and I considered the matter closed, I have reluctantly come to the conclusion that a protracted media debate on my private life, whatever the motivation or however misinformed, would not serve the wider interests of the Conservative cause in East Anglia.

"Nor at a human level am I prepared to continue to sustain the unrelenting orchestrated intrusion into my personal life."

The former shadow police minister went on to say he was standing down with a "heavy heart".

Mr Ruffley was referred by the Conservative Party to chief whip Michael Gove for investigation last week after he revealed his apology to his former partner.

Michael Gove, Conservative Party Chief Whip

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