Stourbridge MP Margot James stands down before election

3 November 2019, 15:45

Margot James has been the MP for Stourbridge since 2010
Margot James has been the MP for Stourbridge since 2010. Picture: Getty

By Sylvia DeLuca

Rebel Tory MP Margot James, who recently had the whip restored, has announced she will not stand in December's general election.

Former culture minister Margot James was one of the 21 Tory rebels who were kicked out of the party after backing a plan to take control of the Commons timetable to pass legislation to block a no-deal Brexit.

She was reinstated to the party last week after a meeting with Prime Minister Boris Johnson.

The active campaigner for Remain announced on Twitter that she will be standing down, saying that "it has been wonderful to serve the people of Stourbridge and to have worked as a minister".

In her resignation letter to Boris Johnson, she said: "Brexit now so dominates politics that it has become the lens through which every Conservative candidate's credentials are judged.

"I am fortunate to have considerable support in my constituency, but sadly the opposite is the case among too many members of the Stourbridge Conservative Association."

64% of voters in her seat backed Brexit.

Ms James told Stourbridge News there was a "conflict" between her views on the future interests of the country and those of her constituents.

She told the paper: "I was very pleased to receive the whip back and I wanted to continue in Parliament.

"It was only after a period of reflection that I realised that I needed to bring the three-and-a-half year conflict between the result of the referendum in my constituency, and my own view of where the future interests of the country lie to a close."

Active campaigner for Remain Margot James is standing down
Active campaigner for Remain Margot James is standing down. Picture: PA

First elected in 2010, Margot James became minister for Digital and Creative Industries in January 2018.

She is among dozens of MPs retiring at this election, with the list including members who have been in the Commons as far back as the 1970s.

Among the Labour departures, are Ronnie Campbell, Ann Clwyd, Kevin Barron and and Geoffrey Robinson.

Conservative departures include Patrick McLoughlin, an MP since 1986, and Sir Nicholas Soames, an MP since 1983.

Ken Clarke is leaving the Commons after representing Rushcliffe since 1970.