Tory MP quits to open door for Boris Johnson's Commons return
A veteran Tory MP last night announced he would be stepping down at the next general election. Richard Ottaway, the MP for Croydon South, told his constituency party: “I feel now is the right time to call it a day.”
His move will intensify speculation that Boris Johnson, the Mayor of London, could make a return to the Commons in 2015, for an eventual bid for the Conservative leadership.
Mr Ottaway’s Croydon South seat is one of those mooted as a possible parliamentary berth for Mr Johnson. The seat was held at the last election by a margin of almost 16,000 votes.
Former Royal Navy officer Mr Ottaway, 67, first entered the House of Commons in 1983 as MP for Nottingham North, but lost the seat in 1987 and has represented Croydon South since 1992.
After the 2010 election, he became the first elected chair of the influential House of Commons Foreign Affairs Select Committee, and he also chaired the all-party parliamentary group for the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games.
His private member's bill to clamp down on metal theft by regulating the scrap metal trade is currently going through Parliament.
Announcing his decision to stand down at a meeting of his local party in Purley, south London, last night, Mr Ottaway said he wanted to spend more time with his family and enjoying his hobbies.
But he added: "Today is far from the end of the road for me - there's plenty of important work to be getting on with in Parliament and in my constituency.
"I will be working at full speed, right up to the general election when I hope David Cameron will be re-elected as prime minister of a Conservative government. He's the right man to be leading the party and the country."
Expectations of Mr Ottaway's retirement have led to Mr Johnson's name being linked with the Croydon South seat. But he poured cold water on speculation of a swift return to the Commons earlier this month by stating categorically that he would not stand as an MP until after his second term as Mayor was complete in 2016.
- 1 Tamir Rice: 12-year-old boy playing with fake gun dies after being shot by police in Ohio park
- 2 To help fuel their propaganda machine against the poor, our government has now decided to redefine the word 'welfare'
- 3 Woman opens professional cuddling shop – gets 10,000 customers in first week
- 4 Naked free runner captured in breathtaking photographs above London's streets
- 5 Manchester United named Premier League's loudest fans despite late push by Chelsea according to 'Smart Meter' app
Turkish President: 'Equality between men and women is against nature'
Tamir Rice: 12-year-old boy playing with fake gun dies after being shot by police in Ohio park
Heroin to be prescribed to Canadian addicts by doctors
Audacious North Korean kidnap plot foiled at Paris airport as 'Asian men' attempted to bundle student onto plane
Revealed: the case against Bill Cosby – through the stories of his accusers
Rochester by-election: Ukip gains second MP as Tory defector Mark Reckless holds seat
'Beast of Bolsover' Dennis Skinner takes Ukip MP Mark Reckless to task moments after he is sworn in
Rochester by-election: Labour MP Emily Thornberry resigns after posting white van and England flags tweet
The young are the new poor: Sharp increase in number of under-25s living in poverty, while over-65s are better off than ever
France 'blocks' Russian sailors from boarding a warship
Green Party Caroline Lucas interview: 'We could be on the edge of something very big'
£30000 - £60000 per annum + Excellent: Austen Lloyd: Employment Solicitor - Ke...
Negotiable: Argyll Scott International: Hi All, I'm currently recruiting for t...
Highly Competitive Salary: Austen Lloyd: HAMPSHIRE MARKET TOWN - A highly attr...
£23000 - £30000 per annum + pension, 25days holiday: Ashdown Group: An industr...