Great Yarmouth MP to stand down at next General Election

Brandon Lewis pictured speaking to reporters.
Sir Brandon Lewis Credit: PA

Great Yarmouth MP Brandon Lewis has announced he will stand down at the next general election.

In a statement posted on X, Mr Lewis said: "It is not a decision taken easily, as it has been the greatest honour of my life to represent the people of Great Yarmouth in Parliament."

He becomes the 61st Tory MP to confirm that they will not seek re-election at the next General Election.

Sir Brandon became the chairman of the Conservative Party in 2018 and has held eight ministerial roles, including Lord Chancellor, the justice secretary and the secretary of state for Northern Ireland.

In his resignation letter he highlighted the rejuvenation of the town centre and the recent opening of the £121m Herring Bridge, saying it had been a "culmination of an outstanding team effort".

On Thursday it emerged the bridge has been closed until further notice while faults are investigated.

The MP, who was first elected in 2010, has been under fire for his non-parliamentary work, which has seen him take up several jobs and earning him £400,000 in addition to his £86,584 MP salary.

His statement goes on to say: "I am proud of the small part I have been able to play in public life across eight ministerial roles, five departments and four prime ministers.

"In all those government roles, I am fortunate enough to have worked on some of the most complex, sensitive and demanding areas of policy as well as with many fantastic officials and colleagues.

"I will continue to serve my constituents to the very best of my ability until Parliament is dissolved and want to take this opportunity to thank my dedicated team.

"I also remain steadfast in my support for the Conservative Party and will be out on the campaign trail, helping to deliver a great new Conservative MP for Great Yarmouth and contribute bold policy ideas to secure our country's future."

Sir Brandon faced fresh criticisms this week after it emerged he had received more money from a Russian-born businesswoman, Lubov Chernukhin - one of the Conservative Party's biggest donors.

It means in the last decade, the Great Yarmouth MP has received nearly £40,000 from Mrs Chernukhin, the wife of Vladimir Chernukhin, a multimillionaire businessman who served under Putin as a junior minister, but later fled Russia after he was dismissed by the regime.

Both she and her husband hold British citizenship, making her political donations entirely legal.

A spokesperson for Mrs Chernukhin said: "As a British citizen, Mrs Chernukhin is entitled to make donations to political parties as she sees fit. All her donations have been declared in accordance with the rules of the Electoral Commission, and derive from her own private wealth."

They added that Mr and Mrs Chernukhin did not support, and had never supported, the policies of President Putin and were vocal critics of his regime, particularly the war in Ukraine.

Sir Brandon said all his donations are "properly and transparently declared and published and comply fully with the law".

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