The former chancellor Sajid Javid has become the latest Conservative MP to announce he will stand down at the next general election. Javid, who has served as health secretary and home secretary, is the 13th Conservative to quit parliament in recent months as the party contemplates defeat.
The Tory exodus comes as Rishi Sunak struggles to achieve a poll bounce for his party, with the Tories around 20 points behind Labour. Conservative ratings have barely recovered from the depths they plumbed following Liz Truss’s calamitous “mini-Budget”.
Javid, who became the MP for Bromsgrove in 2010, has a majority of 23,106. In a letter to his Conservative association chairman, he said: “It has been a decision I have wrestled with for some time, but I have ultimately concluded not to stand again for what would be my fifth election.”
Meanwhile, Labour is celebrating a landslide victory in the Chester by-election. The party’s candidate Samantha Dixon won the north-west seat with 61.2 per cent of the vote (a majority of 10,954), while the Tories won just 22.4 per cent – the party’s worst performance in the seat since 1832.
Javid follows a number of other notable Tory MPs in deciding to stand down. They include Bishop Auckland’s Dehenna Davison, a star of the 2019 intake, who is just 29, William Wragg, the chair of the Constitutional Affairs Select Committee, who is 34, the Scottish Tory leader Douglas Ross and the former cabinet minister Chloe Smith.
Following Labour’s victory in Chester overnight, Keir Starmer said: “The message to Rishi Sunak’s Conservative government is clear: people are fed up of 12 years of Tory rule and want the change Labour offers.”