I'm very sad to learn this morning that my friend Richard Spring has decided to leave Parliament at the next election. This is the text of a letter he sent to his chairman on Friday.
I am writing to you to confirm that I shall not be contesting the West Suffolk constituency again, and will be leaving the House of Commons when the General Election is called.
I have taken the decision with very mixed feelings. I will have been the local Member of Parliament for eighteen years by the time the General Election takes place next year. It has been the greatest possible honour to have been the parliamentary representative for West Suffolk. I have enjoyed this role immensely. It has been a huge privilege to defend and promote local electors’ interests both in Suffolk and in the House of Commons.
I am most grateful to you for the way you have chaired the Association, and in particular pay tribute to you and Dorothy Whittaker, my constituency agent. It would not have been possible to fulfil my duties without your guidance and support.
It goes without saying that I shall give my fullest support to the future prospective parliamentary candidate for the constituency, who I confidently believe will be the next Member of Parliament for West Suffolk.
Richard has been one of the few MPs to really embrace blogging. He told me he regarded it as 'liberating'. Perhaps he will feel the same about his decision to leave Parliament. He would have certainly been a minister in a Cameron government but I guess he feels he wants to do something else while he is young enough to do so.
Parliament will be the poorer without him.