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Ex-minister Sajid Javid to stand down as MP at next election

Sajid Javid  (PA Wire)
Sajid Javid (PA Wire)

Former ChancellorSajid Javid is to stand down at the next election, he announced on Friday.

He is the most high profile Tory MP set to leave Parliament.

In a letter to Paul Uppal, chairman of the Bromsgrove Conservative Association, the Bromsgrove MP said the decision not to stand in his fifth election was one he had “wrestled with for some time".

He added: "I am very proud of what we have achieved for Bromsgrove District and of my work in Parliament and Government.

“This decision will not mark the end of my Parliamentary activity, particularly for the causes I care deeply about. Nor will it impact my duties as a local MP on behalf of constituents across Bromsgrove.

“Being the local MP and serving in Government has been the privilege of my life and I am immensely grateful for the opportunity to serve.

“I always sought to make decisions in the national interest, and in line with my values, and I can only hope my best was sufficient.

“I will of course continue to support my friend the Prime Minister and the people of Bromsgrove in any way I can.”

PM Rishi Sunak tweeted: “Sad to see my good friend @sajidjavid stepping back from politics.

“He’s been a proud champion of enterprise and opportunity during his time in Government and on the backbenches - particularly for the people of Bromsgrove. May the Force be with you, Saj.”

Mr Javid’s decision not to run again comes after a number of Tory MPs have announced their plans to move on from Westminster at the next general election, expected in late 2024.

Chloe Smith, a minister in Liz Truss’s short-lived Government, has announced she won’t run again along with senior Conservative MP William Wragg.

South West Devon MP Gary Streeter and Dehenna Davison, who won the red wall seat of Bishop Auckland at the 2019 general election, have also said they intend to quit.

With Conservative Party HQ setting a deadline of Monday for Tory MPs to declare if they will stand again, more Tory MPs could announce their plans to stand down over the weekend.

But many are expected to put off a decision until closer to the general election.

Some senior Conservatives are understood to be unhappy at the party’s decision to set a deadline two years before Britain is expected to go to the polls.

But senior party figures point to imminent boundary changes, due to come into force next summer, which has left some Tory MPs facing a battle against their own colleagues to retain a seat in Parliament.

“It’s helpful to the party to know who is standing and who isn’t,” said one senior party figure.

In London, planned boundary changes in the Bromley and Beckenham areas of south east London could persuade veteran Tory MPs Bob Stewart and Bob Neill to stand down.

But yesterday it was reported that former Prime Minister Boris Johnson is set to run again in the north west London constituency of Uxbridge, despite fears his majority of 7000 could be overturned by Labour.

But even if he decides to stand again, Mr Johnson’s future could be decided by the outcome next year of a Parliamentary investigation into whether he misled MPs over the Partygate scandal.

Speaking ahead of Mr Javid’s decision, senior Tory MP Sir Charles Walker, who annouonced his intention to stand down in February, warned more party colleagues could be about to follow suit.

"I suspect you’ll see quite a lot of people standing down as we get nearer the general election,” he told Times Radio.

“I think many of my colleagues won’t have made their minds up yet. But I think it’s inevitable. I think politics is quite a gruelling vocation to be in.

“But many of my colleagues will be thinking look, do I want to do much more of this? Do I want to go down to electoral defeat and have a sort of gruelling six week campaign? Or if they’re in really safe seats do I want to be in opposition for 10 years?"

"Most of my colleagues are realists. They know it’s going to be incredibly difficult two years.

“The Conservative Party doesn’t have a free hold on power. It is simply a leasehold, and we will have been in power for 14 years, we’ve had four very difficult issues to contend with, Brexit, Covid, the events in Ukraine, China with its zero Covid policy not helping the global economy.

“And then on top of that, we scored an own goal with the 50 day premiership of Liz Truss. And I think that’s ultimately what we’ll pay the price for, playing fast and loose with people’s finances at a very serious time in their lives."

Mr Javid, a former banker whose father was a bus driver, was appointed Chancellor by Mr Johnson after he became Prime Minister in July 2019.

But he quit in February 2020 - just before the Covid paandemic hit the UK - and was replaced by Rishi Sunak after a disagreement with Mr Johnson and his No10 team over the sacking of one of his aides.

He returned to the Cabinet 16 months later to become Health Secretary but quit again in the summer amid the storm over sleaze and Partygate, triggering an avalanche of ministerail resignations which forced Mr Johnson from power.

He pulled out of the race to replace Mr Johnson in the summer after failing to win sufficient support from his colleagues in the Conservative parliamentary party.