The local MP, Mike Penning, has announced his intention to step down from frontline politics at the next election. Read his statement below:
“It is with great sadness that I have come to one of the most difficult decisions of my life. After careful discussions with my wife Angie and daughters Adele and Abby, I have decided to retire from frontline politics at the next election.
“I have spoken to both the Prime Minister and my local constituency Conservative Party Chair and announced it to my Constituency Executive.
“The trust that the local Conservative membership showed in me back in 2001 when they selected me as their candidate for the next election has been unwavering. The subsequent result, when we won the Hemel Hempstead seat in 2005 by 499 votes, and the faith the electorate has shown me at every subsequent election over the last 17 years has been humbling.
“There can be no greater honour than to be asked to serve your community and your country, but there comes a time when everybody needs to come to terms with the facts of life. I will be 67 at the next election and whilst I have by no means reached my ‘sell by date’, I may be described as having reached my ‘best before date’ and it is now time to allow a new candidate to come forward.”