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Rugby MP Mark Pawsey announced on Monday that he will not stand for MP at the next election.
Pawsey is the latest in a string of Tory MPs to decide not to contest the next elections, which are expected to be held in two years.
His statement was made through his Twitter, which said: “After much consideration, I have decided that I will not seek re-election at the next general election.
It has been an honour to serve the residents of Rugby and Bulkington since 2010, and I will continue to work hard on their behalf throughout my remaining time as their MP.”
Pawsey has held the Rugby seat in Warwickshire since the Tory victory in 2010, with re-election victories in 2015 and 2017. Twitter reactions to his statement were largely sarcastic, with one user asking, “Is this so you never have to answer some of the many questions you ignore from residents?”
Is this so you never have to answer some of the many questions you ignore from residents?
— Save Marle Hall (@savemarlehall) December 5, 2022
The announcement comes amid exits by a total of 15 Tory MPs so far, with former Chancellor Sajid Javid being the most high-profile figure to declare his intention to stand down.
Polls show Labour are 20 points in the lead over the Conservative party nationally. The latter recently faced their worst defeat in almost two centuries at the Chester by-elections.
Political commentator at the Independent, Andrew Grice, is of the view that the Tories made “little effort in the by-election, judging it a lost cause”.
While it is too early to decide whether the outcome is an outright rejection of Rishi Sunak, Grice stated it will be “very difficult for Sunak to repair the damage done to the Tories’ economic credentials by Liz Truss’ mini budget.”
He also expressed surprise at the fact that younger Tory MPs like Chloe Smith and William Wragg were leaving the Commons behind.
“While in some cases there will be personal reasons, this also reflects the feeling among many Tory MPs that their party is heading for an election defeat, and possibly a heavy one.”