Decision Not To Fight In Next Election Was ‘Torturous’, Says Newbury MP Richard Benyon

9 September 2019, 16:49

Richard Benyon reveals why he made the “torturous” decision not to stand for re-election despite being active in politics for 30 years.

Benyon said while he has been hoping "desperately" that the Prime Minister wants a deal he thinks “that we’ll get to a point where there is no alternative but no deal.”

The Newbury MP’s concern is that people on low and fixed incomes will be “really badly hurt by no deal”.

Benyon said, “I feel that perhaps I am leaving the field of battle but I’m not doing it without a fight and I have put my career on the line to try and make a stand on this.”

The Newbury MP, who was one of the 21 Conservatives to have the whip withdrawn last week, said he presumed he might have his whip restored but that would not sway him to stand again.

James O’Brien commented that MPs are “quitting in droves” to which Benyon responded, “I really went through the dark night of the soul on this one, felt I’d done the right thing and will continue to try and do the right thing.”

The MP claimed he had “naively thought this Parliament could run until 2022 but of course it’s not going to.”

In a statement shared on Twitter, he said, "With an election looming I don’t think it is fair to the Association to continue the uncertainty about my being eligible to stand, let alone my willingness. I intend to continue to give the role of being the Newbury constituency’s MP my full focus right up until the election is called."