'I have other things I wish to do': Wokingham MP Sir John Redwood to stand down

  • ITV News Meridian's Harry Acton spoke to Sir John Redwood following the announcement

A Conservative MP who ran for the party leadership in 1995 has announced he is standing down ahead of the General Election, saying: "I have other things I wish to do."

Former minister Sir John Redwood, who was first elected in Wokingham in 1987, has decided not to contest his seat on July 4.

He becomes the 71st Tory MP to stand down.

Sir John wrote a blog post, reading: "I have decided not to put my name forward in the forthcoming election.

"I have other things I wish to do.

"It has been a privilege to represent Wokingham in nine Parliaments.

"I have drawn many of my campaigns from the views I have heard on doorsteps and read in my email box.

"We have achieved good things together for our local community and the wider nation.

"I was pleased to help local Conservative Council candidates win seats in the recent local elections.

"We stopped the Lib Dems winning a majority despite their forecasts by highlighting the big damage they are doing to our roads, the money they waste, their neglect of public spaces and the way they are worsening our refuse service."

PA Graphics

Eurosceptic Sir John, 72, challenged prime minister John Major for the Tory leadership in 1995.

On Thursday, the first day of the General Election campaign, transport minister Huw Merriman and work and pensions minister Jo Churchill announced they are not seeking re-election.

By Friday afternoon, 76 Conservative MPs have announced they will be standing down - the highest number in modern political history.

Prime Minister Rishi Sunak’s decision to call a summer election surprised many in Westminster, who had been expecting an autumn poll.

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