The former Chancellor, Philip Hammond, has announced he is standing down as an MP after being thrown out of the Conservative Party for disobeying Prime Minister Boris Johnson over Brexit.
Hammond, who rose to prominence under David Cameron and then became Chancellor under Theresa May, had been out of favour since Johnson took over in Downing Street in July.
It is with great sadness that I am today announcing my decision to stand down as Member of Parliament for Runnymede & Weybridge at the forthcoming General Election.— Philip Hammond (@PhilipHammondUK) November 5, 2019
My letter to the constituents I have served for 22 years: pic.twitter.com/KW8KUOhM5I
Hammond wrote in a letter to his constituents in affluent Surrey, just outside London: "I am saddened to find myself in this position after 45 years of Conservative Party membership.”
Hammond, 63, was one of 21 Tory MPs who had the party whip removed in September after they voted for the Benn Act, which stopped the UK leaving the EU without a deal.
Ouch. Farage says Philip Hammond quit to avoid the humiliation of losing his deposit in Runnymede. 'He wasn't even going to save his deposit and that's the— James Tapsfield (@JamesTapsfield) November 5, 2019
truth of it.'
Ten of the 21 were allowed back into the party last month but Hammond was not and, unlike Dominic Grieve, he has decided against standing as an independent in the 12 December general election.
Hammond had a majority of 18,000 at the 2017 election and his safe seat is expected to be given to a young Johnson loyalist.
‘Philip Hammond, architect of May’s Brexit strategy, to stand down having been deselected by his own party’— Andrew Adonis (@Andrew_Adonis) November 5, 2019
Brexit, the revolution that devours its children, has now consumed 2 prime ministers, 2 Chancellors, 2 Brexit Secretaries, a Foreign Secretary & about 100 Tory MPs
In his letter Hammond wrote: "I remain a Conservative and I cannot therefore embark on a course of action that would represent a direct challenge in a general election to the party I have supported all my adult life. I will remain an active party member and will continue to make the case for doing whatever is necessary to deliver a close negotiated future economic and security partnership with the EU."