Eurosceptic Tory MP Chris Kelly quits
Conservative MP for Dudley South wishes Ukip defector Douglas Carswell best of luck as he joins list of party departures.
Another Eurosceptic Conservative MP has announced his intention to stand down from parliament, adding that he wished Ukip defector Douglas Carswell “all the best”.
Chris Kelly, 36, who has served in parliament for four years, will not contest the marginal seat of Dudley South next year. It makes him the ninth MP that David Cameron has lost from the new intake of 128 Tories who won seats at the last election.
Kelly said he would not be joining Nigel Farage’s party but he wished Carswell well in his battle to win back the seat of Clacton-on-Sea, where the former Conservative MP resigned to stand for Ukip.
Kelly was one of two Conservative MPs who revealed on Monday that they would not fight the next election. The veteran Conservative Sir Tony Baldry also announced he would stand down from his safe seat of Banbury, in Oxfordshire.
“After careful thought over summer recess and discussions with my family, I have decided to stand down at the next general election,” Baldry tweeted.
Twenty-seven Conservative, 29 Labour and nine Liberal Democrat MPs have decided not to stand next year. This total figure is much lower than before the last election when 149 parliamentarians announced their retirement, many of them during the fallout over the 2009 expenses scandal.
Most of those leaving the parties this time are longstanding older MPs who are retiring, including William Hague, Andrew Lansley, David Blunkett and Jack Straw.
However, senior Tories have been left worried by the number of only recently elected MPs who are standing down. The concerns have intensified after Carswell’s decision to leave the Conservatives and join Ukip.
Conservative MP Conor Burns said he was disappointed that Kelly would not stand again, saying the party was “losing the wrong people”.
The Conservative MPs from the 2010 intake who have stood down, or will stand down, are:
Cannock Chase – Aiden Burley
Cardiff North – Jonathan Evans
Corby – Louise Mensch
Dudley South – Chris Kelly
Erewash – Jessica Lee
Hove – Mike Weatherley
North Warwickshire – Dan Byles
South Thanet – Laura Sandys
South Ribble – Lorraine Fullbrook