Leeds MP Stuart Andrew announces he will not stand in new Pudsey constituencies at next general election
and live on Freeview channel 276
Conservative MP Stuart Andrew, who has represented Pudsey since 2010, told the Yorkshire Evening Post in an exclusive interview that his name will be absent from the ballot paper when voters go to the polls in two new constituencies – Leeds West and Pudsey, and Leeds North West.
They were created out of the current Pudsey constituency, which will be abolished at the next general election as a result of a boundary review.
He said: “I have written to my members to say that I won't be standing in either of the two seats that are being created. The reason for that is that when I was first selected for this constituency, I took the view that this was not just about trying to win the next election. It was about having a 20-year plan for the constituency.
"I still think that the new Leeds North West seat is winnable, but it requires someone who can give that 20 year commitment, so I think it needs someone younger than me.
“I haven't ruled myself out from standing somewhere else, but I am just considering at the moment.”
He added: “If I do stand again, wherever I stand, I will be giving it my all. I don't believe that you can ever turn up in a seat and just expect a win. You have to work your socks off. That's what I've done for the last 20 years here.”
Mr Andrew was previously a Conservative member of Leeds City Council where he represented the Aireborough ward and then the Guiseley and Rawdon ward between 2003 and 2010.
He currently holds two ministerial positions, one focusing on sport, tourism, heritage and civil society, and the other on equalities.
Last year, he resigned from the role of Minister of State for Housing following scandals involving the former Prime Minister Boris Johnson arguing that the people of the country “deserve better”.
Mr Andrew said that serving the Pudsey constituency has been the “privilege of a lifetime”. He added: “I’ve loved representing the people of Pudsey, who are some of the most generous and kind people I’ve met. I’ve been extremely grateful for the support they have shown me. Now that the constituency has gone, my time has come to an end, but I’m so grateful for everyone’s support over the years.”
The next general election will legally have to take place by January 2025, although it is likely to happen before then. Some opinion polls have projected a majority for the Labour Party.
In the new Leeds West and Pudsey and Leeds North West seats, there have also been predicted Labour wins.
However, Mr Andrew said: “I've seen this before, I remember campaigning in the 1992 election when we were told that there was definitely going to be a Labour government, but it didn't happen. I'm not for one minute underestimating the challenge, but I have to say, I don't recognise a clamouring of people desperate to go and vote Labour and support Keir Starmer.”