Kingswood’s Conservative MP has announced he will not stand at the next General Election after representing the area for more than a decade. Chris Skidmore said the decision was due in part to his constituency being split into two in a boundary review set to come into effect before a General Election in 2024.
Mr Skidmore won his South Gloucestershire seat in 2010 and has since grown his majority to 11,200 votes, prompting him to say he “could have potentially had the chance of going elsewhere in the country”. However, he has decided against this and plans to spend more time with his family and take up a role focussed on delivering net-zero.
A large portion of the Kingswood constituency will be split into a newly-formed Bristol North East seat while sections will join with Keynsham as part of North East Somerset. Bristol’s Labour mayor, Marvin Rees has put himself in the shop window in a bid to become the first elected MP for Bristol North East which will be made up of other predominately Labour-voting neighbourhoods such as Downend, Hillfields and Staple Hill.
Tory MPs were handed a deadline of December 5 to inform the party whether they wish to stand in the next election. The Kingswood representative has previously taken up roles as the Government’s net-zero ‘czar’ and universities and energy minister.
“I was born and grew up in the constituency, as have generations of my family,” He penned in a letter posted to his Twitter account. “There has been no greater honour in my life than to have represented my home area in Parliament. I have loved every moment serving as Kingswood’s local MP for the past 12 years and look forward to serving my community for the rest of my term in office.
“Parliamentary boundary changes will result in the Kingswood constituency ceasing to exist. With no alternative seat, I have decided that I do not wish to fight another constituency elsewhere in the region or country, especially with a very young family who deserves to see more of their father in their lives.
“I would like to thank local constituents for putting their trust and faith in me to serve as their local MP. I have also had a wonderful opportunity to serve widely in government, including in the Treasury, Cabinet Office, the Department of Health, and the Departments of Education and BEIS as the last Universities and Science minister. I became an attending member of Cabinet as Energy and Clean Growth Minister. During this period, I 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 clear to me that Net Zero and tackling climate change will be the greatest challenge, yet also the greatest opportunity, of our generation. 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. Rather than step aside, I hope that in the future I can step up to continue to play my own small part in helping to deliver on the energy transition that the world needs.”