Former Tory minister Richard Harrington has been a vocal critic of both Boris Johnson and Theresa May’s Brexit strategy. Following the bombshell news on Wednesday that the Prime Minister will prorogue parliament, Mr Harrington said he will “do everything in my power to ensure that won’t happen”. The MP for Watford resigned as a business minister in March and said Mrs May’s Government was “playing roulette with the lives and livelihoods of the vast majority of people in this country”.
Mr Harrington will join fellow Tory Sir Oliver Letwin who earlier this week announced he has no intention of standing at the next election.
In a statement, Mr Harrington noted the “increasing uncertainty about an earlier election” before 2022 and brought forward his decision to “retire from frontline politics”.
Mr Harrington who was elected in 2010 stated he would “continue to devote myself to serving all my constituents”.
He said: “Having had the privilege of serving as MP for Watford for almost 10 years, I have decided to retire from frontline politics.
“It had always been my intention to step down at the next general election, due under the Fixed Term Parliament Act in 2022.
“However, with the current increasing uncertainty about an earlier election, I believe it right for me to make clear my intentions now.
“Therefore I have told my constituency chairman that I will not be offering myself for selection as the Conservative Party candidate for the next general election, whenever that may be.
“I am proud that we subsequently held the seat in the general elections of 2015 and 2017 and I give my sincere thanks to voters for the confidence they have shown in me.
“Being MP for Watford has allowed me to meet so many people from visiting schools, businesses, charities and other organisations and groups.
“I have learned a great deal from them. I will continue to offer my support for such community groups in the future, and will do my best to help my successor, in whatever way I can.”