Chris Skidmore ninth Tory MP to set exit plan as party hit with dire opinion polls

The Guardian
The Guardian
Chris Skidmore said he now wants to focus on the UK reaching net zero carbon emissions by 2050.

Rishi Sunak’s net zero tsar Chris Skidmore has become the latest Conservative MP to announce he will not be running again for parliament.

The former minister said he would not be fighting to find another constituency when expected boundary changes abolish his Kingswood constituency in Gloucestershire.

Skidmore, 41, is the ninth Tory to detail their exit plans as the party struggles with dire opinion polls.

On Friday, the levelling up minister and rising star in the Conservative party, Dehenna Davison, said she would not be standing again in the former Labour stronghold of Bishop Auckland.

Skidmore, who has represented Kingswood since 2010, said: “With no alternative seat, I have decided that I do not wish to fight another constituency elsewhere in the region or country, especially with a very young family who deserve to see more of their father in their lives.”

The former science minister said he now wants to focus on the UK reaching net zero carbon emissions by 2050 as he undertakes a review for Sunak.

“Rather than step aside, I hope that in the future I can step up to continue to play my own small part in helping to deliver on the energy transition that the world needs,” he said.

The relatively young ages of many of the Tories planning to quit has alarmed some within the party.

Davison, who became Bishop Auckland’s first Conservative MP in 2019, is 29, while other senior departing Conservatives Chloe Smith and William Wragg are 40 and 34 respectively.

The party is braced for a growing exodus as opinion polls suggest the Conservatives face an almighty challenge to recover their popularity.

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