UPDATE: Rudd explains ‘difficult decision’ and confirms she will not stand in Hastings again

Amber Rudd will not stand for re-election in the Hastings and Rye constituency.

Writing to members of the local Conservative association its chairman Martin Clarke said: “She (Ms Rudd) has assured me and the association that she will not be standing as an independent in Hastings and Rye. This means we have the opportunity for a fresh start and to choose a new parliamentary candidate.”

Mr Clarke also confirmed that he has started the process which will lead to selection of a new candidate.

Yesterday Ms Rudd issued a statement to constituents in which she said ‘Nothing will change…’ in the light of her resignation from the government at the weekend.

Ms Rudd issued a statement last night in which she attempts to explain her decision to resign her cabinet position and to also resign the Conservative whip in parliament. What that means is in practical terms is that she is still a member of the Conservative party but is sitting as an independent in the House of Commons.

In her statement Ms Rudd says: “Last weekend I made the difficult decision to resign from cabinet and surrender the Conservative whip which I have held for the nine years I have represented Hastings and Rye.

“I rejoined Cabinet on July 24th to carry on the important work at the Department for Work and Pensions, and to support the Prime Minister in getting a deal with the European Union.

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Amber Rudd – “It has been an absolute honour to be the MP for Hastings and Rye”

“Unfortunately, I no longer believe that getting that deal is the central objective of the government. This, combined with the expulsion of 21 good Conservative colleagues from the Parliamentary party, means I no longer feel able to take the Conservative whip.

“Nothing will change in terms of my local engagement for as long as I remain your MP, which I hope to continue into the next General Election.

“Until then, I will continue to hold advice surgeries, run campaigns and help my constituents to the best of my ability.

“It has been an absolute honour to be the MP for Hastings and Rye. Together we have seen youth unemployment halved since 2010, and over 500 additional businesses set up and thrive in our towns. There are twice as many schools that are rated ‘good or outstanding’ compared to 2010.

“I would like to thank residents for the many good wishes I have received. I hope I have made my position clear in this letter.”

Ms Rudd’s constituency office remains at Swallow House and although the local Conservative association office is no longer working for her re-election, her constituency office is still running with her staff still in place.

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