I have written to the Chairman of Wimbledon Conservatives informing him of my intention to not seek the candidacy for the new 'Wimbledon and the Maldens' seat at the next General Election. A copy of my letter is below:
I am writing to formally notify you of my decision to not seek the nomination as the Conservative Candidate for Wimbledon at the next General Election. I shall announce this to the Association at tonight’s AGM.
Having been involved in our local politics since 1999, when I was first selected to contest the wonderful constituency of Wimbledon, this has been an incredibly tough decision. I want to pay tribute to you for your tireless work as our Chairman, and to thank our diligent and hard working officer team, our brilliant and hardworking professional staff in Summerstown, and everyone involved in Wimbledon Conservatives. No one could have been more fortunate to have such a dedicated and loyal Association with help from so many people over the last 24 years – many of whom I now regard as friends.
It has not been easy for me to make this decision, and despite the national picture I do believe we can win locally. However, this is the right decision for Sally and me. In recent years we have both been stretched by increased caring responsibilities for our elderly parents and this is unlikely to change in the coming years. I know how lucky I am to have had such unstinting support from my family.
By the next General Election, I will have been Wimbledon’s MP for 19 years, and it has been the privilege of my life to represent our area in Parliament and in Government over this time. I have always put Wimbledon first, and I shall continue to do so until such a time as I am not our MP. I will always advocate for all my constituents, and I am proud of what we have achieved since my election in 2005 for my constituents and Wimbledon. I am proud that I have campaigned for the causes and the principles I believe in.
My successor as our candidate will have my full support to ensure that Wimbledon is retained by the Conservatives and that they will succeed me as the Conservative Member of Parliament for Wimbledon and the Maldens.
Thank you once again for your unfailing support.
Stephen Hammond MP
Member of Parliament for Wimbledon