A veteran Conservative has become the latest of Rishi Sunak’s MPs to announce they will not run at the next election as the Tories struggle to recover from a polling slump.
Sir Gary Streeter, who has comfortably won in South West Devon since its conception in 1997, said he believes the Prime Minister “will recover strongly from recent challenges”.
But the former frontbencher said a local replacement in the constituency must be selected “to give us the best chance of holding this seat”.
Today I’ve announced that I will not be seeking re-election at the next general election. It has been an honour and privilege to serve the people of South West Devon and I will continue to do so until the next election. pic.twitter.com/5v0rgC2Wg1
— Gary Streeter MP (@garystreeterSWD) November 25, 2022
In the 2019 general election under Boris Johnson’s leadership, Sir Gary won the seat by 21,430 votes over second-placed Labour.
He is the fifth Conservative MP to say they will be standing down ahead of the next general election, which will be no later than January 2025.
The former shadow international development secretary wrote to his constituency association saying he will “not be seeking re-election at the next general election, whenever it comes”.
“It has been an honour and privilege to represent this constituency for over 30 years, but the time has come for me to stop back and let a younger person take over,” the 67-year-old said.
“I very much hope that a local candidate will be chosen to give us the best chance of holding this seat.
“I have great confidence that under Rishi Sunak’s leadership our country will recover strongly from recent challenges.”
Senior Conservatives including Chloe Smith and William Wragg have also this week announced they will not be running for re-election.
The party is braced for a growing exodus as opinion polls put the Conservatives as facing an almighty challenge to recover their popularity.