BREAKING NEWS: Stratford MP Nadhim Zahawi to stand down at the next general election - The Leamington Observer

BREAKING NEWS: Stratford MP Nadhim Zahawi to stand down at the next general election

Leamington Editorial 9th May, 2024 Updated: 9th May, 2024   0

STRATFORD MP Nadhim Zahawi has announced he will be standing down as a Conservative MP at the next general election.

Mr Zahawi said in a letter published on X on Thursday morning (May 9) that the time was right for a “new, energetic Conservative” to fight for the honour of representing Stratford-on-Avon constituency.

The former chancellor, who has been Stratford MP since 2010, had been due to launch his election campaign at Stratford Town Football Club on Saturday (May 12).

Mr Zahawi has faced criticism from his constituents and been mired in controversy over his tax affairs, which led to his sacking as a minister after being found to have breached the ministerial code.

And a petition was launched last month by residents demanding the Stratford Conservative Association de-select Mr Zahawi as their parliamentary candidate following recent “controversies”.

This included his tax affairs, expenses claims for his energy bills and, it is claimed, for not working for the local interest.

In his letter, Mr Zahawi said: “With the exception of convincing my wife to marry me, it has been the greatest honour of my life to represent the people of Stratford-on-Avon and serve as a Minister of the Crown. But after 14 years in Parliament, and multiple roles in Cabinet and Government, I have come to the decision not to stand again at the next general election.

“Every morning as I shave my head in the mirror, I have to pinch myself. How is it that a boy from Baghdad who came to these shores, fleeing persecution and unable to speak a word of English, was able to do as much as I have? For all our challenges, this is the best country on Earth, and it helped me make my British dream come true.

“It was where I built a Great British business, YouGov, and it was where I raised my wonderful family. And it was the nation to which I was proud to return such a favour when I led the world-leading coronavirus vaccination rollout.

“I feel immensely privileged to have been called upon to serve my country across Government. As Education Secretary I kept schools open during Omicron, and as Chancellor of the Exchequer, I ensured Ukraine’s valiant efforts against Russia were properly supported.

“But serving the constituents of Stratford-on-Avon is the most important work I have done as a Member of Parliament. Whether they are struggling against the dead hand of bureaucracy, or are stricken by tragedy, being able to help them in their time of need remains one of the most meaningful things I have ever done. I am proud that my constituents felt able to confide in me.”


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