I have stepped down from the Conservative Party's list of approved parliamentary candidates. I have included below the text of the letter I sent to Head of Candidates explaining my decision.
I would like to step down from the list of approved parliamentary candidates.
It has been a tremendous privilege to represent the party in this way over the last six years- and I hope to have the opportunity to do so again in the future - but I know that for the foreseeable future I will not be able to give the time and commitment it requires to be on the list and I do not want to take up a place on at the expense of others.
My wife and I are expecting our first child in February- something we are overjoyed about. Our life is about to change beyond all recognition at a time when I, like all candidates, would rightly be expected to be giving every possible minute to the upcoming general election campaign. At this time I will be giving every possible minute to being the best father and husband I can be- whilst working full-time.
I am proud of what the party is doing for our great country. I am proud too of the leadership shown by David Cameron, including in his sense of duty in entering a coalition in the national interest in 2010. I am proud of his leadership in helping put our economy back on its feet after the disaster we inherited from Labour and in extending Conservatives values into policy- from bringing greater choice into education to extending fairness and justice through his support of equal marriage. I will also never forget his powerful and much-valued apology to all of us deeply affected by Hillsborough and the sickening and disgraceful cover-ups that followed.
I have been a member of this party since 1992 and will continue to be a member and give it my fullest possible support between now, the election and beyond. But family must come before politics and I want to be honest and direct about my priorities. It is right therefore to step aside at this time but I do so with great pride in our party and safe in the knowledge that our country’s best days lie ahead.
Thank you for the opportunity to serve the party as a candidate.