At a meeting earlier this evening of the Executive of the East Devon Conservative Association I announced that I would not be standing for re-election as the Member of Parliament. It was my original intention to stand down in 2022, when the next general election was scheduled to be held. I was first selected as the Parliamentary candidate for East Devon in 2000 and have fought five subsequent general elections.
I served in a number of different roles in Opposition, including in the Shadow Cabinet as Shadow Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport. In Government, I was first appointed as Minister of State in the Northern Ireland Office and then Minister of State in the Foreign and Commonwealth Office. Whilst I was honoured to have been appointed to these roles, my greatest privilege has been to serve my constituents, regardless of their political allegiance. I am truly grateful to them for consistently returning me at elections and will continue to serve them to the best of my ability until an election is called.
We live in challenging political times, but I remain convinced that to bring the country back together we need to deliver on Brexit and I shall continue to support the Prime Minister and the Government in their endeavours.