Tuesday, December 01, 2009

Sir Patrick Cormack Stands Down

Sir Patrick Cormack is the latest senior Conservative MP to announce he will not fight the next election. He has issued this statement.
I have informed the Leader of the Opposition, the Speaker, and the Chairman of South Staffordshire Conservative Association that, after a great deal of careful thought, and family discussions, I have most reluctantly decided not to offer myself for re-election at the next General Election. I have been immensely proud to have been a Staffordshire Member in the world’s greatest Parliament for close on forty years, much more than half my life. I regard membership of the House of Commons as the highest honour to which any British subject can aspire and I shall always be grateful to have had the opportunity, and the great privilege, of serving my country and my constituency at Westminster.

I am most anxious to continue to work for some of the causes I have campaigned for over the years but I have recently had my third severe attack of bronchitis in two years and my doctor tells me I really ought to cut down on my normal ‘term time’ working week of 70 to 80 hours. The unhappy events of recent months in Parliament have made those hours much more of a burden than they used to be and it is also becoming increasingly clear that the new House of Commons will be very different from the old. Sadly, I have come to the conclusion that it is right that I should hand the torch to a younger man or woman, someone who will, as I have done, be able to offer many years of service to the people of South Staffordshire.

I know he has been agonising over this decision for some time, and it will have been a real wrench for this genuine lover of Parliament to have come to the conclusion that he should leave the institution he reveres so much. I, for one, will miss him.


Lord Lavendon said...

A sad day, as Sir Pat, was one of the most dedicated supporters of Parliament ever. But as this leaves a gap for a plumb seat,Iain, is Staffordshire calling you?

Barnacle Bill said...

If Sir Patrick was such a lover of Parliament why did he allow it to become so tainted by all the recent scandals?
As far as I'm concerned another one of the old "turn a blind eye" politicians out of the way.
Now let's hope a strong independent candidate will stand in his constituency.

Ean Craigie said...

He has been a becon of relative sanity in a world gone mad around him. The problem is only when giants like this leave the scene that we realise what a tremendous job he has done. One from a kinder gentler generation who will be much missed.

golden_balls said...

He's a Tory i very much respect its a shame he didn't cross the floor back in the mid to late 90's.
He would have been an excellent leader of the house.

Good luck.

klepper said...

This man would make a very welcome addition to the upper house and hopefully would restore some of the respect and good standing that has been sadly lost by Labour's recent collection of crooks and misplaced union pencil pushers.

Rush-is-Right said...

Pompous ass. Good riddance.

quietzapple said...

Will this be the Tories' first all female shortlist?

True Belle said...

Interesting to see that he nicked Jennie Lee's seat . He must have done well.

He's been a career politician and so therefore has had a very secure cosy zone in Parliament and all the trappings, nice pension perhaps ahead too.

He may attach hinself to a Cameron quango,whoops, as a consultant showing new young MPs the political ropes and good manners?

Don't these people know how to delegate though? In the private sector , a 70/80hr week is not uncommon. That's what they are paid for.

Clameur de Haro said...

Slightly less rose-tinted spectacles, I think, Iain. Rush-is-Right has it spot on. It’s a pity if Cormack does have a serious bronchitis problem, but otherwise, what a hubristic, self-serving and pompous statement he makes. .

“Unhappy events of recent months…..have made those hours much more of a burden than they used to be…” he says. Sir Patrick has been a significant contributor to those “unhappy events”, having trousered a sum not unadjacent to £600k in expenses in the last 7 years, including claiming expenses for two homes and the employment of his wife.

Cormack is a fully paid-up member of the political class who has had more in common with his nominal opponents than he has had with his constituents who have voted for him. Readers of Peter Oborne’s “The Triumph of the Political Class” (NB purchased from Politico’s!!) should recall that Cormack is the MP who, when presented with irrefutable evidence that Blair’s Government secretly knew in advance about Mugabe’s invitation to a Paris summit by Chirac but made not a murmur of protest, and then feigned to do so only when it became inconveniently public, declined to challenge NuLab on it, saying “Oh, I couldn’t do that….it might embarrass the Government”. As Oborne says, what did Cormack think his constituents sent him to Parliament for?

The UK polity will be well rid of him.

Andy JS said...

I wonder who will show an interest in the selection for this rock-solid Tory seat?

In 1997 it was one of only 13 seats which gave the Tories more than 50% of the vote, and since in some of those 13 seats the Tory vote slipped below 50% in 2001 it is one of less than 10 seats where the Tory vote has remained above 50% continuously since 1997.

Lady Finchley said...

You know True Belle, I don't think a 70-80 hour week is something anybody should aspire to - whether in the private, public or policital sector. It's unhealthy for mind and body and this has been demonstrated in many ways throughout society.