Francis Maude will step down as Horsham MP at this year’s General Election.
He was first elected Horsham MP in 1997 and is currently the Coalition Government’s minister for the cabinet office.
Writing to the chairman of the Horsham Conservative Association Mr Maude described it as a ‘huge privilege’ to serve as the area’s MP for 18 years.
However he believe it was ’time to make way for a younger candidate to carry the Conservative flag in Horsham’.
In his letter he said: “I am increasingly optimistic that the Conservative Party under David Cameron’s strong and visionary leadership will form the government after 7th May.
“This election will offer the country a simple choice between this Conservative competence and Labour chaos. We need to stick to our long-term economic plan to keep growing the economy, creating more jobs in Horsham and across the country, and paying down the deficit so our children have the best possible future.”
Mr Maude was previously Tory MP for North Warwickshire from 1983 to 1992 and held various posts under the Governments of Baroness Thatcher and Sir John Major. He was also chairman of the Conservative Party from 2005 to 2007.
Three candidates have already announced their intention to stand at the upcoming General Election in Horsham: James Smith standing for Something New, Darrin Green of the Green Party, and UKIP’s Roger Arthur, who was deputy leader of Horsham District Council until his defection from the Conservatives in early 2013.