POLITICS

Eric Pickles Standing Down As Conservative MP At General Election 2017

He has represented Brentwood and Ongar for 25 years.

22/04/2017 13:25 BST | Updated 22/04/2017 13:42 BST

Sir Eric Pickles is standing down as an MP after 25 years.

The former Tory party chairman said he would not run for the Brentwood and Ongar seat he has held since 1992 in the general election on 8 June.

On Saturday morning, he tweeted the news:

He also said on Twitter that he would be continuing in his role as the prime minister’s special envoy on post-Holocaust issues.

Pickles said that he had intended this the present Parliament to be his last but that he had done “much heart-searching”.

Pickles said: “Throughout that quarter of century, I have enjoyed success and some setbacks, but have always been sustained by the friendship back home in the patch. This was particularly true when public office, either as member of the Shadow Cabinet in Opposition, Party Chairman or Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government, kept me away from the constituency. The warmth of local support was always a source of great strength.

“I have served in elected office, either as a councillor or a Member of Parliament for just short of forty years, starting with the wonderful Margaret Thatcher up to and including Theresa May.

“I strongly believe that it is in the national interest for Theresa to receive the clear endorsement of the British people for her difficult task of removing this country from the EU.

“She has proved to be a great PM and has my full support in the coming campaign.”

He also told the BBC: “I think it’s always better to leave when people are asking why you’re going, rather than why you’re staying.”

PA Wire/PA Images
Eric Pickles is standing down as MP for Brentwood and Ongar

The former communities and local government secretary is the latest in a string of MPs to stand down at this general election. 

George Osborne announced earlier this week that he is quitting as an MP “for now” and will not seek re-election.

In a letter to his local Conservative Party in his Tatton constituency, the former Tory chancellor said he would now focus on editing the Evening Standard.

Former Ukip MP Douglas Carswell said he will not seek re-election in Clacton, but added he would vote for the Tory candidate.

And a string of Labour MPs, including Andy Burnham and Alan Johnson, have also said they will be standing down.

On Saturday morning, Labour MP for Nottingham North Graham Allen also announced he was standing down at the election, due to ill health.