Amber Rudd will not stand in Hastings and Rye at the next General Election

Amber Rudd. Photo by Derek Canty
Amber Rudd. Photo by Derek Canty

Hastings and Rye MP Amber Rudd will not stand in the constituency at the next General Election.

A spokesman for Ms Rudd’s parliamentary office said: “Amber will not stand against the Hastings and Rye Conservative Association and their parliamentary candidate if there is a General Election.”

Ms Rudd resigned from the Conservative party and from her role as Work and Pensions Secretary on Saturday evening (September 7).

In her letter to the Prime Minister, she said she cannot ‘stand by as good, loyal moderate Conservatives are expelled’.

She also said she made her decision due to the lack of progress made with Brexit negotiations since Boris Johnson became Prime Minister.

At the next election, she will stand as an Independent candidate.

The announcement comes a day after she wrote to constituents to say she will ‘continue to work hard as the MP for Hastings and Rye’

She wrote: “Last weekend I made the difficult decision to resign from cabinet and surrender the Conservative whip which I have held for the nine years I have represented Hastings and Rye.

“I rejoined cabinet on July 24 to carry on the important work at the Department for Work and Pensions and to work as Minister to the Government Equalities Office, and to support the Prime Minister in getting a deal with the European Union.

“Unfortunately, I no longer believe that getting that deal is the central objective of the government. This, combined with the expulsion of 21 good Conservative colleagues from the Parliamentary party, means I no longer feel able to take the Conservative whip.

“Nothing will change in terms of my local engagement for as long as I remain your MP, which I hope to continue into the next General Election.

“Until then, I will continue to hold advice surgeries, run campaigns and help my constituents to the best of my ability.

“It has been an honour to be the MP for Hastings and Rye. Together we have seen youth unemployment halved since 2010, and over 500 additional businesses set up and thrive in our towns. There are twice as many schools that are rated ‘good’ or ‘outstanding’ compared to 2010.

“I would like to thank residents for the many good wishes I have received. I hope I have made my position clear in this letter.”
Ms Rudd’s resignation was welcomed by her political opponents.

Liberal Democrat candidate for Hastings and Rye Nick Perry and Labour’s Peter Chowney – who both signed a letter calling on Ms Rudd to resign earlier on Saturday – welcomed the Hastings and Rye MP’s decision.

Mr Perry said: “Amber Rudd’s resignation provides further evidence that Boris Johnson’s Conservative Party is now a Trojan horse for the Brexit Party.

“With the Conservatives and Labour in the hands of political hardliners, the Liberal Democrats will continue to welcome voters who want an open, tolerant and socially progressive party, committed to economic competence and stopping Brexit altogether.”

Labour said Ms Rudd’s main reason for resigning – the lack of preparation in securing a deal with the European Union – echoes Jeremy Corbyn’s view.

Peter Chowney, Labour parliamentary candidate for Hastings and Rye, said: “I’m pleased that Amber Rudd has realised what many of us knew already: that the Tories are in utter disarray, and that Boris Johnson is not fit to be an MP, let alone Prime Minister.

“She once said that Boris Johnson was the life and soul of the party, but you wouldn’t want him to give you a lift home. Now she’s firmly slammed the door on him and decided to walk away, avoiding the car crash this government has turned into.

“I look forward to other prominent Conservatives, both nationally and locally, taking the same honourable route.”

Ms Rudd’s resignation came after a protest outside her surgery in Hastings and a letter was signed by opposition members, calling on her to resign.

The letter was signed by Labour’s Peter Chowney, the Liberal Democrats’ Nick Perry and the Green Party’s Chris Whitrow, who signed the letter on behalf of Julia Hilton. The letter was signed outside St Mary in the Castle at noon on Saturday (September 7).

It challenged Ms Rudd over her stance on Brexit and why she supported the suspension of Parliament by PM Boris Johnson.

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Hastings and Rye MP Amber Rudd quits cabinet and Conservative Party

Letter calling on Hastings MP Amber Rudd to resign from cabinet signed by opposition members

Protesters march in Hastings over Boris Johnson’s plan to suspend Parliament

MP Amber Rudd pledges to ‘work hard’ for Hastings and Rye after cabinet resignation