Owen Paterson: MP’s resignation statement in full as Tory quits ‘cruel’ politics

  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
·3-min read
In this article:
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
Owen Paterson’s resignation will trigger a by-election  (PA)
Owen Paterson’s resignation will trigger a by-election (PA)

Owen Paterson has resigned as an MP after Boris Johnson U-turned to allow a fresh vote on the former minister's suspension after being found to have breached lobbying rules.

The senior Tory announced his resignation on Thursday after the Prime Minister was forced into a retreat over plans to prevent his immediate suspension by launching a review of the entire disciplinary system.

Mr Johnson had supported an attempt by Mr Paterson's allies to review the sanction until opposition parties refused to take part in a "corrupt" Tory-led committee tasked with the review.

Rather than face a fresh vote on a possible six-week ban, Mr Paterson said he would resign as an MP, triggering a by-election after a high-profile sleaze row.

This is the full statement issued by the former Cabinet minister:

“I have today, after consultation with my family, and with much sadness decided to resign as the MP for North Shropshire.

“The last two years have been an indescribable nightmare for my family and me.

“My integrity, which I hold very dear, has been repeatedly and publicly questioned.

“I maintain that I am totally innocent of what I have been accused of and I acted at all times in the interests of public health and safety.

“I, my family and those closest to me know the same. I am unable to clear my name under the current system.

“Far, far worse than having my honesty questioned was, of course, the suicide of my beloved and wonderful wife, Rose.

“She was everything to my children and me.

“We miss her everyday and the world will always be grey, sad and ultimately meaningless without her.

“The last few days have been intolerable for us. Worst of all was seeing people, including MPs, publicly mock and deride Rose's death and belittle our pain.

“My children have therefore asked me to leave politics altogether, for my sake as well as theirs.

“I agree with them. I do not want my wife's memory and reputation to become a political football.

“Above all, I always put my family first.

“This is a painful decision but I believe the right one. I have loved being the MP for North Shropshire and have considered it a privilege to have been elected to serve my constituents for 24 years.

“I would like to thank my staff who have worked for me so loyally over many years.

“I also want to thank those who have stood by me so staunchly. I wish them all the best in that difficult but vital job of being a Member of Parliament.

“I will remain a public servant but outside the cruel world of politics. I intend to devote myself to public service in whatever ways I can but especially in the world of suicide prevention.

“At this incredibly difficult time for my family, we ask that the media respects our privacy and lets us grieve my beloved Rose, the best person I ever met.”

Read More

Owen Paterson sleaze row: What happens now after Tory MP resigns?

Owen Paterson’s colourful political career ends in ignominy

How did Tory Owen Paterson go from avoiding suspension to resigning in 24 hours?

Our goal is to create a safe and engaging place for users to connect over interests and passions. In order to improve our community experience, we are temporarily suspending article commenting