North East Beds MP to stand down at next election after voting against the government

PUBLISHED: 13:53 04 September 2019 | UPDATED: 13:53 04 September 2019

Alistair Burt will not stand for re-election after 'unresolvable' differences with the party leadership. Picture: The Office of Alistair Burt MP

Alistair Burt will not stand for re-election after 'unresolvable' differences with the party leadership. Picture: The Office of Alistair Burt MP

Archant

The MP for North East Beds is standing down and won't contest the next general election after voting against Boris Johnson's government last night.

Alistair Burt - who has been a Conservative MP for 32 years, and represented North East Beds since 2001 - was among the 21 Tory rebels removed from the party yesterday after not following the party line.

MPs voted with a majority of 27 - defeating the government - to seize control of the parliamentary agenda and will today aim to introduce a new bill blocking a no-deal Brexit.

Mr Burt has confirmed that he won't stand as an independent MP in any future election.

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In a letter to constituents, the 64-year-old said: "It has become clear that I have a fundamental and unresolvable disagreement with our party leadership on the manner in which we leave the EU.

"This is very likely to be at the root of the next election and I believe it is unfair of me to present you with a conflict of interest between my views and those of the party at an election.

"My family and I arrived in Bedfordshire in 1998 to make our new home here… I will always value the relationships built as I worked as MP on so many issues affecting the lives and livelihoods of my constituents.

"It is the greatest privilege of a citizen to be elected to Parliament. Our years together will remain an honour for all my days."

Mr Burt was first elected in 1983, serving as MP in his hometown of Bury before moving to Bedfordshire.

His distinguished political career included ministerial positions at the Department of Health and latterly, the Foreign Office, before he resigned from his latest role in March over Brexit disputes.

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