Former business minister Margot James will not run in the election
Former business minister and Tory rebel Margot James will not stand at next month’s general election due to insufficient support from her local Conservative party.
James was one of 21 Tory MPs to have the party whip removed in September for voting with opposition parties to stop a no-deal Brexit.
Read more: Ten ex-Tory rebels set to have the whip restored by Boris Johnson
The Stourbridge MP had the whip restored on Tuesday, along with nine others, but is still stepping due to a lack of support from her local party.
Stourbridge, her constituency, voted 64 per cent to leave in the Brexit referendum.
She wrote in a resignation letter to Boris Johnson that “it meant a great deal” to have the whip restored.
She added: “I am fortunate to have considerable support in my constituency, but sadly the opposite is the case among too many members of the Stourbridge Conservative Association.
“It was only after a period of reflection I realised that I needed to bring the three and a half year conflict between the result of the referendum in my constituency, and my own view of where the future interests of the country lie to a close.”
James was elected as an MP in 2010 and served as a business minister and then subsequently digital and creative industries minister under Theresa May.
Her decision to not stand at the 12 December election comes after a number of female MPs have cited abuse as a reason to quit politics.
A study by the Commons’ Women and Equalities Committee found two-thirds of female MPs say that slow progress tackling violence against women in politics is impacting their willingness to stand for re-election.
Tory grandee Nicholas Soames lamented James’ decision to resign.
He tweeted: “That is so sad and a real loss to the house and her constituency.”
Read more: Abuse is making female MPs less likely to stand for re-election, survey finds
Former Conservative, and now Liberal Democrat, MP Sam Gyimah said: “Very sad to see my good friend, Margot James, will not be standing at the next general election.
“Yet another thoughtful, compassionate, moderate MP, who voted against no deal – now she has no place in the Conservative Party.”