Mensch resignation causes by-election in Corby

  • 6 August 2012
  • From the section England
  • comments
Louise Mensch MP
Image caption Louise Mensch MP has announced she is to step down as an MP

The news that Louise Mensch is to stand down, causing a by-election in her marginal seat of Corby, was not totally unexpected - but the timing was a shock.

Mrs Mensch has announced that she is finding it increasingly difficult to juggle her family responsibilities with her political career; something that she has spoken to us about in the past.

She is to move to New York with her three children to join husband, Metallica manager, Peter Mensch.

She said: "I am completely devastated. It's been unbelievably difficult to manage family life.

"We have been trying to find a way forward with the Prime Minister's office but I just can't spend as much time with my children as I want to."

She had been allowed to go back to the constituency on Thursdays and Fridays in a special concession from the PM but it hadn't proved enough of a help.

The Prime Minister, hinting that she was in line for promotion, said he only accepted her resignation "with enormous regret".

He thanked her, adding: "You're a truly inspiring Member of Parliament, championing your constituency of Corby with flair and energy over the past two and half years, while also serving with great distinction on the House of Commons Culture, Media and Sport Select Committee."

Public profile

When Louise Bagshawe (as she was then) was first elected, I asked her about her political ambitions.

"I don't want to be a minister," she told me.

"I think David Cameron and George Osborne are doing a fantastic job of it already."

Nevertheless, her profile rose, with appearances on programmes like Have I Got News for You?

And she embraced social media in a way that very few MPs had ever done before.

With 100,000 followers on Twitter she's now launched her own site.

But it was on the Culture Media and Sport Committee that she really showed her mettle as part of the investigation into the phone hacking scandal.

Before entering Parliament she was already a best selling "chick lit" author.

She was put on the 'A' list of candidates by David Cameron, which meant she was fast tracked into Parliament.

Nevertheless, taking the seat of Corby, which had been held by Labour for 13 years, was no mean feat.

With a majority of only 1,895, this is a marginal seat.

The Conservatives have already told us that they won't relish fighting a mid term by-election.

It's likely to be held in November, in tandem with the Police Commissioner elections.

Labour have their candidate, former MP's son Andy Sawford, already in place and are good to go.

The battle for Corby begins here.