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Cabinet minister Nicky Morgan to stand down at election

The Culture Secretary joins list of senior Tories who will not fight the pre-Christmas general election.

Digital, Culture, Media and Sport Secretary Nicky Morgan (PA)
Digital, Culture, Media and Sport Secretary Nicky Morgan (PA)

By Shaun Connolly, PA Political Correspondent

Culture Secretary Nicky Morgan is the latest high profile MP to declare she will not stand in the looming December general election.

Ms Morgan, who previously served as education secretary under David Cameron, has represented Loughborough for the Conservatives since 2010.

Her departure from the political frontline mirrors that of a slew of prominent Conservative figures including former home secretary Amber Rudd.

In a post on Twitter, Ms Morgan said: “For the first time in 18 years I won’t be a candidate in the next General Election. I’ve loved being #Loughborough’s voice in Westminster since 2010 & being DCMS Secretary – & I look forward to supporting the PM, Government, Conservative Party and my successor in the future.”

The clear impact on my family and the other sacrifices involved in, and the abuse for, doing the job of a modern MP can only be justified if, ultimately, Parliament does what it is supposed to do - represent those we serve in all areas of policy, respect votes cast by the electorate and make decisions in the overall national interest Nicky Morgan, MP

Earlier on Wednesday, Tory former de-facto deputy prime minister Sir David Lidington and his former Cabinet colleague Ms Rudd said they too would stand down as MPs ahead of the poll in December.

In a letter to the Loughborough Conservatives chairman Trevor Ranson, Mrs Morgan said the sacrifices involved in being an MP “can only be justified if, ultimately, Parliament does what it is supposed to do”.

She wrote: “After nearly a decade as Loughborough’s MP and over 15 years as a local campaigner here I have made the very difficult decision that I can’t commit to another 5 year term and now is the time for me to stand aside and be at home far more.”

Describing her time as Loughborough MP as “the greatest privilege of my life”, she added: “Of course, being an MP offers many fantastic opportunities.

“Apart from the wonderful people I meet daily, and the fabulous organisations I work with, I have always believed that it is through politics that real and positive change can be made to our communities and country.

“But the clear impact on my family and the other sacrifices involved in, and the abuse for, doing the job of a modern MP can only be justified if, ultimately, Parliament does what it is supposed to do – represent those we serve in all areas of policy, respect votes cast by the electorate and make decisions in the overall national interest.”

Aylesbury MP Sir David cited the “heavy cost” of politics on family life in a letter to The Bucks Herald newspaper as he announced he would stand down, while former Tory home secretary Ms Rudd, who had a majority of just 346 at the last election in her Hastings and Rye constituency, said she was not “finished with politics” but was “just not standing at this election”.

Ms Morgan was dropped from the Cabinet by Theresa May when she took over from Mr Cameron as PM in 2016.

However, Boris Johnson brought Ms Morgan, who campaigned for Remain in the EU referendum, back into the Cabinet when he became Prime Minister.

PA

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