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Tory MP Chris Skidmore stepping down to focus on clean energy

Tory MP Chris Skidmore stepping down to focus on clean energy

The Kingswood MP will step down at the next general election
Conservative MP for Kingswood Chris Skidmore has announced he will be stepping down from Parliament at the next general election to focus on tackling climate change.

Mr Skidmore has been leading an independent review over the last three months on how the Government can transition to clean energy.

“It is clear to me that Net Zero and tackling climate change will be the greatest challenge, yet also the greatest opportunity, of our generation,” he wrote in a letter posted to Twitter on Saturday evening.

“It is this opportunity - to demonstrate how we must protect our environment and climate for the future, at the same time as delivering a new clean and sustainable energy system that shifts us all away from fossil fuels - that I now wish to devote my attention to.”

He said he hopes to play a “small part” in helping to deliver the Government’s transition to clean energy.

Mr Skidmore was elected to the Kingswood constituency in South Gloucestershire at the 2010 general election.

Parliamentary boundary changes will result in the Kingswood constituency ceasing to exist, the MP said in his letter.

“With no alternative seat, I have decided I do not wish to fight another constituency elsewhere in the region or country,” he wrote.

Mr Skidmore previously held a Cabinet position as Energy and Clean Growth Minister. He was responsible for legislating and signing the UK’s Net Zero carbon dioxide emissions by 2050 commitment into law, making the UK the first G7 country to do so.

“It is delivery of this commitment that I now wish to focus my career upon after leaving Parliament,” he said.

“I have sought to ensure that Net Zero has been supported by every prime minister.”

His resignation follows a number of other high-profile Tory MPs, including Chloe Smith and William Wragg, who have announced they will not be running at the next election.

Sir Gary Streeter, who has comfortably won in South West Devon since its conception in 1997, announced on Friday that he will also be stepping down.

The party is braced for a growing exodus as opinion polls put the Conservatives as facing an almighty challenge to recover their popularity.

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