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John Carlisle to quit

John Carlisle, the outspoken right-wing Conservative MP for Luton North, has announced that he will retire from the Commons at the next general election. Mr Carlisle, 54, who has been attacked by Labour for his attitude towards the former apartheid regime in South Africa, becomes the 57th sitting Tory MP to announce retirement at the end of this Parliament. He has been a persistent and robust critic of John Major's policies and leadership.

Another right-winger, Baroness Thatcher's former economic adviser, Sir Alan Walters, is to fight a London seat at the next election for Sir James Goldsmith's Referendum Party, it was announced. It had been expected that Sir Alan would challenge the strongly pro-European Chancellor, Kenneth Clarke, for his Rushcliffe constituency, but he has been selected instead as prospective candidate for the City of London and Westminster South, now held by former Tory Cabinet minister Peter Brooke with a 13,000 majority.