Harborough MP Sir Edward Garnier said tonight (Thursday) that he will not be contesting the forthcoming general election.
Sir Edward, who has been Conservative MP for Harborough since 1992, confirmed rumours circulating today that he will not be seeking re-election on June 8.
Speaking this evening he said: “I have, after much deliberation, decided that I will not stand as the Conservative candidate for Harborough at the general election on 8 June. Although I had planned in 2015 to stay on until the election in 2020 the Prime Minister’s decision to call an election on 8 June left me with the dilemma of going on until June 2022, when I will be a few months short of 70 years old, or stopping now when I am young enough and fit enough to do other things, to continue my practice at the Bar, to spend more time with my wife, children and grandchild, and to have some greater control over my diary.
“After 25 years as the MP for Harborough it will be a tremendous wrench to leave the Commons and the constituency. I have enjoyed many years on the Front Bench in Government and Opposition as well as more recently contributing from the back benches.
“I could not have been luckier in being the MP for such a wonderful part of the country and to have worked with great friends and supporters in Leicestershire and Westminster through the highs and lows of the Conservative Party’s fortunes. For all that I could not be more grateful.
“No matter whether one is a rookie MP or an old codger, to have the backing of one’s Constituency Association makes all the difference and in that I have been incredibly lucky throughout my 25 years as MP for Harborough.
“I thank them for all that they have done for me and for the association. Anna and I are not leaving the area and will remain in close contact with the association and, more immediately, I will be campaigning with the new candidate to ensure that we have a Conservative MP for Harborough and a strong Conservative Government in Westminster.”