Tory europhile Ken Clarke to stand as MP at general election

The MP was set to stand down in 2020

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Indy Politics

Veteran Conservative MP Ken Clarke will stand again as an MP at the 8 June election, it has been confirmed.

The former chancellor had said he would stand down at the next election in 2020 after 50 years as a Member of Parliament.

“I will not stand again. This is my last Parliament,” he had said in June 2016, speaking to the China Daily publication.

Mr Clarke’s office however said the 76-year old pro-European Tory would stand again, following the announcement of a snap election.

A spokesperson said: “He's putting himself forward to be the Conservative candidate for Rushcliffe in June.”

Mr Clarke, who is ‘father of the house’, the title conferred on the longest serving MP, has been a thorn in Theresa May’s side on the Brexit issue.

Earlier this year he tore into Theresa May’s “Alice in Wonderland” strategy for leaving the EU, describing his own party as “anti-immigrant”.

The PM, too, has criticised Mr Clarke. At Prime Minister’s Questions in February she characterised their concurrent tenures as Justice Secretary and Home Secretary as “I locked ‘em up and he let ‘em out”.

The former Cabinet minister was also the only MP to vote against the Government's Brexit bill.