A veteran Conservative is the last of Rishi Sunak’s MPs to announce they will not run in the next election as the Tories struggle to recover from a slump in the polls.
Sir Gary Streeter, who has won comfortably in South West Devon since its conception in 1997, said he believes the Prime Minister will “recover strongly from recent challenges”.
But the former frontbencher said a local replacement should be selected in the constituency “to give us the best chance of keeping this seat”.
In the 2019 general election led by Boris Johnson, Sir Gary won the seat with 21,430 votes over second-placed Labour.
He is the fifth Conservative MP to say they will step down ahead of the next general election, which will be January 2025 at the latest.
The former shadow secretary for international development wrote to his constituency’s association that he “will not seek re-election in the next general election, whenever it comes”.
“It has been an honor and a privilege to represent this constituency for over 30 years, but the time has come to stop and let a younger person take over,” said the 67-year-old.
“I sincerely hope that a local candidate is elected who gives us the best chance of retaining this seat.
“I am confident that under the leadership of Rishi Sunak, our country will recover strongly from the recent challenges.”
Senior Conservatives, including Chloe Smith and William Wragg, also announced this week that they will not be seeking re-election.
The party is bracing for a growing exodus as opinion polls say the Conservatives face a huge challenge in restoring their popularity.