Ex-Cabinet minister George Eustice becomes the latest Tory MP to announce they will stand down at next general election as Conservative exodus continues
- Ex-Cabinet minister George Eustice says he will stand down at the next election
- Former environment secretary wants to pursue ‘a final career outside politics’
- It means there are now 15 current Tory MPs planning to quit House of Commons
The former environment secretary revealed today he will leave Parliament in order to pursue ‘a final career outside politics’.
It means there are now 15 current Conservative MPs who are planning to quit the House of Commons the next time the country goes to the polls.
The looming exodus of current Tory MPs comes at a time when the Conservatives are still lagging far behind Labour in opinion polling.
The next general election has to be held no later than January 2025.
A failure by Rishi Sunak to revive his party’s fortunes over the next two years could see a Tory wipeout across much of Britain.
Former environment secretary George Eustice revealed today he will leave Parliament in order to pursue ‘a final career outside politics’
The 51-year-old served as environment secretary in Boris Johnson’s government between February 2020 and September last year
Fellow former Cabinet ministers Sajid Javid and Matt Hancock also intend to stand down as MPs
There are now 15 current Conservative MPs who are planning to quit the House of Commons the next time the country goes to the polls
Mr Eustice’s decision not to stand for election again in his Camborne and Redruth seat will raise hopes among Labour and the Liberal Democrats of winning the Cornwall constituency from the Tories.
The 51-year-old has served as the area’s MP since the 2010 general election and retained the seat at the 2019 election with a majority of nearly 9,000 votes.
This was up from the 1,500 majority Mr Eustice won at the 2017 snap election while, in 2010, he saw off his Liberal Democrat rival by only 66 votes.
The constituency is the successor to the Falmouth and Camborne seat, which was won by the Lib Dems in 2005, having previously been won by Labour in 2001 and 1997.
In a statement announcing his decision not to contest the constituency again, Mr Eustice said: ‘By the time of the next election, I will have been in politics for 25 years, including almost 15 years as a Member of Parliament.
‘I will also be 53 and I want the opportunity to do a final career outside politics so have decided not to seek re-election. This has been a difficult decision for me.
‘I feel a deep bond to the area where my family have lived for over 400 years and it has been an honour to represent my home towns, but it is important that the Conservatives are able to select a new candidate in good time.
‘There are still almost two years left of the current parliament and I will be doing my utmost throughout that time to help my constituents and deliver for Cornwall.’
Mr Eustice served as environment secretary in Boris Johnson’s government between February 2020 and September last year, before he was sacked from the role by Liz Truss.
Early in his political career, Mr Eustice unsuccessfully stood as a UKIP candidate in the 1999 European Parliament elections.
He went on to become head of press under Tory leader Michael Howard ahead of the 2005 election and also served as David Cameron’s press secretary between 2005 and 2007.
Late last year, Mr Eustice claimed the post-Brexit trade deal Britain has signed with Australia is ‘not actually a very good deal for the UK’.
‘Overall, the truth of the matter is that the UK gave away far too much for far too little in return,’ he told the Commons.
Among those other Tory MPs who have announced they won’t stand at the next election are former Chancellor Sajid Javid, Scottish Tory leader Douglas Ross, and levelling up minister Dehenna Davison.