RICHARD Benyon, the MP for Newbury, has announced he will not stand in the next general election.

Mr Benyon was chucked out of the Conservative party last week after voting against the government. He and a majority of MPs successfully voted to take control of the agenda in parliament.

Following that vote, MPs then voted to demand Boris Johnson, the prime minister, to request an extension to Article 50 if a deal has not been agreed with the European Union by October 19.

The two votes are seen as key to preventing a no deal Brexit.

Mr Benyon was first elected in 2005. He was one of 21 Tory MPs to have the whip withdrawn last week after voting against the government.

He said: “With an election looming, I don’t think it is fair to the association to continue the uncertainty about my being eligible to stand, let alone my willingness.

“I intend to continue to give the role of being the Newbury constituency’s MP my full focus right up until the election is called. It is a job I have loved and am proud of what my parliamentary team, the local Conservative party, and the wonderful group of councillors in West Berkshire have been able to achieve.

“Without shouting it from the rooftops, over the recent decades we have improved the lives of vulnerable people and supported businesses and the communities we love.

“I hope the association will move forward and be further strengthened by the selection of a good candidate to follow me and I look forward to being able to give him or her my fullest support.

“It has been the greatest privilege for me to be elected four times as MP for this constituency. I hope my successor is able to appreciate how lucky they are to represent an area of great opportunity filled with some of the most decent and kind people you could meet anywhere.”