Northampton South MP David Mackintosh has announced he will not be standing for re-election in the Northampton South Constituency.
Revealing his decision on Twitter on Thursday night, Mr Mackintosh said it had been an honour to represent the town.
“It has been an honour and privilege but I have decided not to seek re-election as an MP but wish @theresa_may the best of luck on 8th June,” the tweet of Mr Mackintosh’s verified social media account said this evening.
In a statement issued to the Chronicle & Echo later, Mr Mackintosh said the time was right to step down.
“After much thought I have decided not to stand again as the Conservative candidate for Northampton South. It has been a huge honour to be the Member of Parliament since 2015, but I now feel it is the right time for my constituents to have a new representative.
“This is an important election for our country with a clear choice: strong and stable leadership for Brexit and beyond under Theresa May - or a coalition of chaos under a weak, floundering, nonsensical Jeremy Corbyn.
“I supported Theresa May since the start of her leadership campaign, and I know that every vote for her and the Conservative team on 8 June will strengthen our hand in negotiations to get the best possible deal for Brexit and beyond, leaving Britain stronger and better off for the future.”
Mr Mackintosh was facing a battle to get re-elected after some senior Conservatives on the executive committee of Northampton South Conservatives Association withdrew their support.
Yesterday, however, other Conservatives councillors were rallying round Mr Mackintosh with some labelling the actions of members of the association as “disgusting”.
Mr Mackintosh faced a crucial meeting on May 2 at Sixfields Stadium where members of the association were due to decide who would stand for election.
Some executives of the Northampton South Conservatives Association revealed in the past week that they would not approve Mr Mackintosh’s wish to stand again in the seat he won in 2015.
The MP may have claimed to have responded to 20,000 constituency requests during his time as MP, but many have still questioned his role in the failed £10.25 million Sixfields loan deal.
Among the local grandees to come out against Mr Mackintosh were former borough council leader Councillor Mary Markham, who felt the MP had failed to be “open” with the electorate in the wake of the scandal.
She said: “I urged David Mackintosh publicly some months ago to be more accountable, not just to the association management committee but to his electorate too.
“I asked him to answer their questions and be more representative.
“I haven’t seen any evidence of that since,” she said.
Yesterday, Councillor John Caswell (Con, New Duston) who has been a member of the Northampton South Conservative Association for 20 years, said the moves to oust the 38-year-old were “disgusting”.
He said: “That man is the fifth best MP for dealing with constituents’ complaints.
“Twenty thousand people that man has helped – and they want to get rid of him?
“ think it’s disgusting what they are doing to him.”
In a statement released last Friday morning, Mr Mackintosh criticised colleagues who had spoken to both the Chron and BBC Northampton. “It is disappointing that a few of my colleagues have chosen to brief against me in the media when the country is about to make an important decision about who leads our country in the future,” he said.
“I am proud of my record as an MP, to date I have dealt with over 20,000 cases from thousands of my constituents. I would like to continue that work and intend to stand for re-election.”
In December executive committee members said the MP’s role in the bungled Sixfields loan deal and what the committee said was his “refusal to accept criticism” had damaged the reputation of the local party.
At the time, Mr Mackintosh defended his actions during the loan deal but did issue an apology for how the deal had ended.