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Sussex MP and Cabinet Office minister to stand down

Cabinet Office minister Francis Maude will step down as an MP at the general election, the Conservatives have confirmed. The veteran Tory MP for Horsham said that 32 years after entering Parliament it was time to "make way for a younger candidate".

Francis Maude to stand down Credit: Press Association

I was first elected to the House of Commons in 1983 just before I was 30, and will be nearly 67 by the time of the election in 2020. Public service continues to exercise great appeal. However, 27 years is a long time to serve as a Member of Parliament, and I believe now is the right time to make way for a younger candidate to carry the Conservative flag in Horsham.

– Francis Maude MP
MP Francis Maude leaves politics Credit: Press Association

Mr Maude entered the House of Commons in 1983 as MP for North Warwickshire, where he served until 1992. After five years out of office he returned as MP for Horsham in 1997, a seat he has held since. Mr Maude took up ministerial roles under former prime ministers Margaret Thatcher and Sir John Major, including in the Treasury and Foreign Office, before returning to Government under David Cameron in the Cabinet Office. He won his seat at the 2010 General Election with a majority of 11,460 over the Liberal Democrats.

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Our own Fred Dinenage speaks to David Cameron with the general election on the horizon

The Prime Minister made a timely visit to the region today, on the eve of 100 days to the General Election.

He was at a community centre in Hampshire making a speech on the Conservative Party's manifesto.

Voters go to the polls on Thursday the 7th of May, with the NHS, the economy and immigration all key issues.

Never before has an election contest been so unpredictable. Fred spoke to David Cameron earlier today:

Commuters speak up aboard the 'train of shame'

Millions of us take to the roads, trains and buses every day. But how much of an issue will transport play during the election. There are certainly some controversial issues like extra airport runways, HS2 and the current crowding on the roads and trains. Well to find out our Transport correspondent Mike Pearse took a ride on the worst performing train in Britain, the 0729 from Brighton to Victoria.

Mike Pearse spoke to the following people: AA President Edmund King, Gatwick Campaigner Sally Pavey, Chief Executive of Gatwick Airport Stuart Wingate, and Stephen Joseph from Campaign for Better Transport.

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