Nicky Morgan has announced she will not stand again as an MP.
Mrs Morgan, who is currently the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, has represented Loughborough since the 2010 election.
In a letter to her constituents she said she could not continue to make sacrifices required of being an MP without parliament doing “what it is supposed to do”.
She says being the MP for the area has been “the greatest privilege of my life”.
But she adds: “The clear impact on my family, and the other sacrifices involved in and the abuse for, doing the job of a modern MP, can only be justified if ultimately parliament does what it is supposed to do – represent those we serve in all areas of policy, respect votes cast by the electorate, and make decisions in the overall national interest.”
Mrs Morgan is the first sitting cabinet minister to announce they won’t be seeking re-election in December.
It is incredibly rare for a minister to decide not to continue as an MP.
In a post on Twitter, she said: “For the first time in 18 years I won’t be a candidate in the next General Election. I’ve loved being #Loughborough’s voice in Westminster since 2010 & being DCMS Secretary – & I look forward to supporting the PM, Government, Conservative Party and my successor in the future.”
The letter added: “After nearly a decade as Loughborough’s MP and over 15 years as a local campaigner here I have made the very difficult decision that I can’t commit to another 5 year term and now is the time for me to stand aside and be at home far more.”
Mrs Morgan was elected in 2010 and became minister for women in 2014. Later the same year she was appointed secretary of state for education.
Before becoming an MP, she was a solicitor in corporate law.
She’s the latest in a long list of Conservative MPs who are not seeking re-election this time around, including people like Sir Michael Fallon and Jo Johnson.
She’s another MP who has cited abuse as a reason for stepping down. Heidi Allen, a former Conservative MP who defected to the Liberal Democrats, also said the impact abuse had on her life was “dehumanising”.
In her letter Ms Allen said: “Nobody in any job should have to put up with threats, aggressive emails, being shouted at in the street, sworn at on social media, nor have to install panic alarms at home.
“Of course public scrutiny is to be expected, but lines are all too often regularly crossed and the effect is utterly dehumanising.”
Former de facto Conservative deputy prime minister Sir David Lidington also said the “heavy cost” of politics on his family life was behind his decision to stand down.
Mrs Morgan had a majority of about 4,000 in the 2017 election.
Nicky Morgan has announced she will not stand again as an MP, after 10 years. Mrs Morgan, who is currently the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, represents Loughborough. More follows…