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Peter announces his intention to stand down from the Commons at the next election due in 2015

I am today announcing my decision to continue as your MP only until the next election when I will stand down as Member of Parliament for Mid Worcestershire. It has been an immense privilege to serve the county of Worcestershire in Parliament - for twenty three years by the time the next election is held in 2015.

To the people of Worcestershire who have elected me at five successive general elections, I say thank you. Together we have achieved some great things. Working with communities, voluntary groups and local councils we have, for example, fought off plans for a major asylum centre at Throckmorton and an eco-town at Long Marston, seen the re-opening of the Droitwich Canals and of the Regal Cinema in Evesham, achieved a significant redoubling of the Cotswold railway line, saved Evesham hospital from closure, got the Wyre Piddle by-pass built, tamed the A449 between Claines and Kidderminster and done so much more.

To see the enthusiasm and passion that the people involved have bought to these and other challenges has been wonderful.

It has also been a privilege to work alongside two of the very best councils in the country Wychavon District Council and Worcestershire County Council. In the two and half years that remain to me as a Member of Parliament, we have more to achieve together and more battles to win.

My work as defence equipment minister since the least election has been immensely rewarding and encouraging. To work with the finest our country has to offer, the men and women of our armed forces, has been inspirational. The civil servants of the MoD, so often and wrongly derided, that make their work possible have also been superb. To all of them, I express my deep appreciation.

My wife Julia has run my office throughout this time and she and I want to say a particularly big thank you to the warm hearted and generous constituents with whom we have worked. The gratitude and support you have so often offered to us has been greatly appreciated.

In particular I want to thank the local members of my Party, who have worked so hard to support me and the Conservative cause. It is fashionable to deride politicians and the political process, but I believe there is no nobler cause than the representation of the people in democratically elected institutions at parish or town, district, county, national and European level. It is the tireless work of the foot soldiers of the main political parties that ensures this happens. Our next challenge, of course, is the election of our Police and Crime Commissioner in November.

There is much more I could say, and many more people I should thank, I am sure. For now I say simply that there is still more work to be done both locally and nationally and I look forward to doing it. The Coalition government is grappling with huge challenges, the scale of which is only just becoming clear. David Cameron and his ministers will enjoy my robust support as they address them with the determination and energy I know they will demonstrate. We need to be ruthlessly focussed on growth, to remain outward looking as a country, and to work hard for fairness in all we do. This is the agenda of the government and one I will do all I can to help in the future.


NOTE I expect to publish an exchange of letters with the Prime Minister later today

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