Peter Ainsworth to stand down as East Surrey MP
East Surrey MP Peter Ainsworth has announced he will not be standing for Parliament at the next General Election.
First elected in 1992, Mr Ainsworth said he had given the matter "very careful thought" over Christmas and New Year and decided the time had come to take up new challenges.
Standing down: Peter Ainsworth MP
He advised his local Party Chariman Nick Skellett and Party Leader David Cameron of his decision over the week-end.
In a statement released on Monday, January 4, Mr Ainsworth said: "It has been an enormous privilege and a genuine pleasure to have served my constituents for the past 18 years. I have done my best to help the most vulnerable people in our community and to protect our local environment.
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"For much of my time in Parliament, I have been lucky enough to serve on the Front Bench, and I particularly enjoyed my time as Shadow Culture Secretary. Being in Opposition can be frustrating, but I believe that in my roles as Chairman of the Environmental Audit Committee and as Shadow Environment Secretary, I played a part in shifting political attitudes towards green issues. It was especially satisfying to pilot the Green Energy Act onto the Statute Book last year.
"My abiding interests have been, and remain, the promotion of cultural values and the arts, and reconciling economic growth with the limits set by nature. I look forward to pursuing these issues in the future.
"Meanwhile, David Cameron has my wholehearted support and I will continue to work for a Conservative victory at the next General Election in order to secure the changes that our country so urgently needs."