A Conservative MP who received a police caution for assaulting his ex-partner today announced he will step down at the next election.
David Ruffley, the former shadow police minister, blamed his decision on the “unrelenting orchestrated intrusion into my private life”.
Mr Ruffley had been summoned to a meeting of his local party in Bury St Edmunds, Suffolk, on Thursday to discuss the incident.
He was arrested at his London flat in March and accepted a police caution for the assault.
The incident came to light after the Dean of Saint Edmundsbury Cathedral, a friend of the MP’s former partner, said the MP’s position in parliament was “untenable”.
In a letter to his local party chairman, Mr Ruffley said he had apologised for the “very regrettable incident last March” and had considered the matter closed.
But he added: “I have reluctantly come to the conclusion that a protracted media debate on my private life, whatever the motivation or however misinformed, would not serve the wider interests of the Conservative cause in East Anglia.
“Nor at a human level am I prepared to continue to sustain the unrelenting orchestrated intrusion into my personal life.”
Mr Ruffley was referred by the Conservative Party to chief whip Michael Gove for investigation last week after he revealed his apology to his ex-partner.
Mr Gove said: “David Ruffley MP has given a huge amount to Parliament both on the Opposition front bench and as an outstanding member of the Treasury Select Committee.
“I am sorry he will be standing down at the general election in May 2015, but fully respect his reasons.”