Conservative MP Richard Ottaway to step down at election

Richard Ottaway Mr Ottaway has represented Croydon South since 1992

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Conservative MP Richard Ottaway will stand down from Parliament at the next general election.

Mr Ottaway, who chairs the Foreign Affairs Select Committee, has represented Croydon South since 1992.

His announcement will heighten speculation that London Mayor Boris Johnson could put himself forward as candidate for the Tory safe seat.

However, Mr Johnson has ruled out standing as an MP before his term in his current job runs out in 2016.

On his website, Mr Ottaway, 67, said: "I feel now is the right time to call it a day.

"I would like to spend time with my family and enjoy my hobbies while I still can!"

'Plenty of work'

The former Royal Navy officer first entered the House of Commons in 1983 as MP for Nottingham North, but lost the seat in 1987 before going on to represent Croydon South.

He served as parliamentary aide to Michael Heseltine, shadow environment secretary and vice-chairman of the backbench Conservative 1922 Committee.

After the 2010 election, he became the first elected chair of the House of Commons Foreign Affairs Select Committee and also chaired the all-party parliamentary group for the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games.

His private member's bill to clamp down on metal theft by regulating the scrap metal trade is currently going through Parliament.

Announcing his decision to stand down at a meeting of his local party in Purley, south London on Friday, Mr Ottaway said: "Today is far from the end of the road for me - there's plenty of important work to be getting on with in Parliament and in my constituency.

"I will be working at full speed, right up to the general election when I hope David Cameron will be re-elected as prime minister of a Conservative government."

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