Rutland MP Sir Alan Duncan to stand down
Sir Alan Duncan has announced he is standing down as MP for Rutland and Melton.
The 62-year-old was first elected in the constituency in 1992 and has held the seat ever since.
At the last election, Sir Alan had a majority of more than 23,000 votes, with him gaining more than 62 per cent of the total vote in 2017.
Sir Alan became the first openly gay Tory MP when he publicly came out in 2002, and went on to join the shadow cabinet after the 2005 general election.
David Cameron made him minister of state for international development in 2010 and Theresa May made him minister of state for Europe and the Americas in 2016.
Sir Alan resigned in July over the chance that Boris Johnson was to become prime minister by winning the Tory leadership election - a contest Sir Alan had withdrawn from before David Cameron won in 2005.
However, at the time Sir Alan as Foreign Minister, Rutland Conservatives said they looked forward to him being the local MP "for many years to come".
This afternoon, Sir Alan told the Mercury: “There is no right time to go but I felt I’d had a good run over my 27 years. Seven shadow cabinet jobs, seven years as a minister of state, two years on the Intelligence Committee, heaven knows how many leadership campaigns, and two by-passes funded in the constituency.
"Rather than become a wise old buffer who nobody listens to I look forward to taking up new challenges.
"Rutland and Melton is a fabulous constituency and the best place to live in the UK, so I’ll not be moving!
Sir Alan added: "I have worked with some fantastic people in so many areas of life locally. I have had three very fulfilling decades which I hope have improved the lives of lots of constituents.”
Rutland and Melton Conservative Association chairman Byron Rhodes said the announcement was "a big surprise" with the association now having to make arrangements to find a successor.
He continued: "I would like to extend my thanks to Sir Alan for his 27 years of service to the constituency and to the Conservative Association. He has been a dedicated public servant. I wish him well with his retirement from public life.
"We are currently organising the selection process to find a successor to Sir Alan. All of our eligible members, those who have been paid up members continually for three months or more, will be invited to attend the selection meeting at a date, time and venue to follow, as soon as arrangements have been made."