Worcester MP Robin Walker has today written to the Chair of the Worcester Conservative Association to announce that after thirteen years as an MP and four General Elections, he will not stand to represent the city at the next election. Robin, who was selected as Parliamentary candidate in 2006 and first elected in 2010, feels he has achieved many of the things he set out to do in parliament and needs to prioritise family, meaning the time is right for somebody else to step forward as Conservative candidate for the Worcester constituency.
Robin’s top priorities in Parliament have been to secure investment in Worcester’s NHS, schools and infrastructure as well as to support businesses and the economy.
In his letter he highlights investments at the Worcestershire Royal Hospital, including the £15m upgrade to it’s A&E currently underway, the delivery of fairer funding for schools and new schools for the city, faster rail connections and the delivery of key transport projects such as Worcestershire Parkway and the dualling of the Southern Link Road. Higher employment, more apprenticeships and more than £40 million in investment in regeneration and housing.
Robin helped Britain deliver on the 2016 Brexit referendum as Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State at the Department for Exiting the European Union until 2019, after which he became Minister of State for Northern Ireland. In this context he has warmly welcomed the Prime Minister’s Windsor Framework, announced this week. Robin then became Minister of State for School Standards, enabling him to focus on his passion for improving education. In November last year he was elected as Chairman of the Education Select Committee which scrutinises the government’s education policy. He will continue in this role and as MP for Worcester until the next General Election is called.
In his letter to the local association chairman, Robin said:
‘I am writing to express my huge thanks for all your support over the last few years in your role as Chairman of the Worcester Conservative Association. I am grateful to have enjoyed the consistent support of Chairmen and members that I have been fortunate enough to work with since I first became Worcester’s Conservative Parliamentary candidate in 2006. I am immensely proud of what we have achieved together and that so many of the things I was elected to do for Worcester have been, or are in the process of being, delivered.
‘Having thought long and hard about the decision, however, I have come to the conclusion that my young family needs me to be more present and that the strains of living in two places and weekend commitments involved with the life of an MP, are not ones I can continue to sustain. With young children starting school and nursery respectively I want to be able to take more time to support them and watch them grow up. I will therefore not be seeking re-adoption as the parliamentary candidate for Worcester at the next General Election. I am confident that, with the strong team you have in place locally and the excellent talent in the party, you will be able to find a strong candidate and, with our party leadership in excellent hands, the team will be able to secure a fifth consecutive Conservative victory in Worcester.
‘In the meantime, I look forward to continuing my work as local MP and to speak up on ongoing campaigns such as securing funded places at our new medical school and securing the future of the Worcester Warriors in whatever time is available ahead of a General Election.
‘With my team I will continue to hold regular surgeries and support constituents wherever possible. I am looking forward to continuing my cross -party work as Chairman of the Education Select Committee, ensuring education policy delivers the best possible future for young people. Worcester is demonstrably better off with Conservative councils and I look forward to working with you and our excellent local candidates to secure a strong result in the upcoming local elections. I wish to reiterate my thanks to everyone who has worked so hard over the years to enable me to serve this city, and to you personally for the support and wise counsel that you have always offered.’
Responding to Robin’s letter, Chris Rimell, Chairman of the Worcester Conservatives, said:
‘We are sad that Robin has decided to step down at the next General Election. Robin has been a hardworking and diligent servant of Worcester and a tenacious voice in Parliament for our city.
‘We will select a Conservative parliamentary candidate for the next election, and in doing so ensure the electorate have a candidate who is up to the job of continuing with the very high standards Robin has set.’