Politics

Former prime minister Theresa May to stand down as MP at next general election

Former Prime Minister Theresa May has announced she will stand down as an MP at the next general election, it has been reported.

In an exclusive statement to her local paper, Mrs May said she had taken the “difficult decision” to quit the Commons after 27 years representing her Maidenhead constituency.

The 67-year-old also pledged her support to Rishi Sunak’s government and said she believed the Conservatives could win the next election.

Elected seven times, Mrs May had been the Conservative MP for the Berkshire seat since 1997.

She served as prime minister from 2016 to 2019, having previously held the position of home secretary since 2010.

Mrs May entered Downing Street after David Cameron resigned after the country voted to leave the European Union – something he campaigned against.

Mrs May, who was also a Remainer, was forced out of the job three years later because she could not get her Brexit deal through parliament.

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Her decision to leave Westminster adds to an exodus that has seen more than 60 Tory MPs say they will not fight their seats at the next election – the highest total since 1997.

High profile MPs who have said they will quit include former cabinet ministers Ben Wallace, Sajid Javid, Dominic Raab and Kwasi Kwarteng.

In a statement to the Maidenhead Advertiser, the Conservative politician said: “It has been an honour and a privilege to serve everyone in the Maidenhead constituency as the Member of Parliament for the last 27 years.

“Being an MP is about service to one’s constituents and I have always done my best to ensure that I respond to the needs of local people and the local area.

“Since stepping down as prime minister I have enjoyed being a backbencher again and having more time to work for my constituents and champion causes close to my heart including most recently launching a Global Commission on Modern Slavery and Human Trafficking.

“These causes have been taking an increasing amount of my time.

“Because of this, after much careful thought and consideration, I have realised that, looking ahead, I would no longer be able to do my job as an MP in the way I believe is right and my constituents deserve.

“I have therefore taken the difficult decision to stand down at the next General Election.”

She added: “I will continue to work hard for all my constituents until the general election.

“As I pass the baton on I will be working with my successor to secure a Conservative victory in Maidenhead. I remain committed to supporting Rishi Sunak and the government and believe that the Conservatives can win the election.

“I would like to thank all those who chose me to represent them as their member of parliament.

“I have always said there is no greater privilege than being an MP; I have served as home secretary and prime minister but none of that would have been possible without the people of Maidenhead and the constituency which I have been proud to call my home.”

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