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Michael Gove to step down as MP in general election

Michael Gove has announced that he will not stand for re-election as an MP before the 4 July general election.

The Leveling Up Secretary of State is one of the longest-serving Conservative ministers and the last remaining high-profile MP from David Cameron’s government, elected in 2010.

The shock announcement is a blow to the Conservative party, which is already struggling to find candidates for almost a third of constituencies after Rishi Sunak decided to announce the election on Wednesday.

The Secretary of State for Leveling Up, posted on of Parliament. “

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Gove said it was time for a “new generation” to lead and highlighted his time in various government roles including education secretary, Cabinet Office minister and housing secretary.

In his letter to Surrey Heath Conservative chairman Stuart Black he says: “Having the opportunity to serve as a Member of Parliament and Minister has been a great privilege.

“As a child growing up in Aberdeen, I would never have imagined I would have the opportunity to sit in the House of Commons, let alone around the Cabinet table.

“My parents, who adopted me when I was four months old, raised me to believe that the opportunity to help others is the greatest gift they can give you.

“Having four prime ministers ask me to serve the country in their governments has been the honor of my life.”

He admitted: “I also know that the toll can take it, and so can the people closest to me. Nobody in politics is a recruit. We are volunteers who voluntarily choose our destiny. And the opportunity to serve is wonderful.

“But there comes a time when you know it’s time to leave. That a new generation should lead.”

He listed his achievements throughout his almost two decades in Parliament such as leading the Vote Leave campaign, introducing the Homes for Ukraine plan, promoting rehabilitation as Justice Secretary and strengthening the Union with Scotland.

He concluded: “Throughout my time in politics, although I have undoubtedly made mistakes, I have always tried to be a voice for those who have been ignored and undervalued. I have tried to fight for greater social justice.

“My educational reforms were designed to build a country where everyone, regardless of their background, can become authors of their own life stories. For me, that is what being in Parliament and in Government is all about.”

Michael Gove said it was time for a new generation to lead
Michael Gove said it was time for a new generation to lead (AFP via Getty Images)

It is understood that when Sunak made his rain-soaked announcement on the steps of Downing Street on Wednesday afternoon, candidates were still to be selected for 191 of the 650 seats.

Since then there have been more vacancies and several Conservative MPs have announced they will retire, bringing the total to 77, breaking the 1997 record of 75.

Rishi Sunak is already looking for candidates
Rishi Sunak is already looking for candidates (AFP via Getty Images)

Michael Gove had appeared at the top of a Lib Dems hit list of top Conservative targets they believe they can unseat in the general election.

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