Newbury MP Richard Benyon will not fight next election

Richard Benyon
Image caption Richard Benyon has been Newbury's MP since 2005

The MP for Newbury Richard Benyon has announced he will not stand in the next general election.

Mr Benyon was one of 21 Conservative MPs who had the whip withdrawn last week.

He said despite colleagues telling him the MPs may be allowed back into the party, it was unfair to "continue uncertainty" about whether he could stand.

He will continue to serve as Newbury MP until an election is called, he said.

In a statement on his website, he said: "I have received many calls from colleagues saying that there are plans emerging for a 'path back' for the so-called rebels.

"I have been giving much thought to how that could be achieved but feel now that I should let you know my clear intentions.

"I do not seek to be the candidate at the forthcoming election whenever it is called.

"With an election looming I don't think it is fair to the Association to continue the uncertainty about my being eligible to stand, let alone my willingness."

Speaking to BBC Radio Berkshire, he added there was a "seismic fault" in the Conservative Party and if he had the whip restored he could be forced to "sign up to something related to Brexit I feel uncomfortable in doing".

Mr Benyon has been the MP for Newbury since 2005.

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