Tracey Crouch is joining the Tory exodus from the House of Commons with the former sports minister today announcing she will stand down at the general election.
The Chatham and Aylesford MP revealed she will not compete again for her Kent constituency when voters go to the polls later this year.
Almost 60 Conservative MPs have now said they will not seek re-election, with Labour continuing to enjoy a massive lead over the Tories in opinion polls.
In a letter to her local Conservative association, Ms Crouch pointed to her public battle with breast cancer for having given her ‘an opportunity to pause and reflect’.
The 48-year-old said she now wanted to ‘seek a new professional challenge’ after nearly 14 years in Parliament.
Tracey Crouch is joining the Tory exodus from the House of Commons with the former sports minister announcing she will stand down at the general election
In February 2021, Ms Crouch ended her last radiotherapy treatment and posted a picture of herself shaking an emoji bell on social media outside an oncology centre in Maidstone, Kent
First elected at the 2010 general election, Ms Crouch served as sports minister for three years under David Cameron and Theresa May, resigning in 2018 over delays to a promised reduction in the maximum stakes for fixed-odds betting machines from £100 to £2.
She became the first ever Tory minister to take maternity leave in 2016 when she gave birth to her son Freddie.
In 2021, she chaired a review of football governance in England triggered by the backlash to the short-lived proposals to form a European Super League.
The review had been promised in the 2019 Conservative manifesto following the collapse of Bury FC.
Among the recommendations were the creation of an independent football regulator to oversee financial regulation of the men’s professional game and the imposition of a ‘stamp duty’ on transfers between Premier League clubs.
Ms Crouch revealed she had been diagnosed with breast cancer in June 2020 but said it had been caught early and she was undergoing treatment.
In February 2021, she ended her last radiotherapy treatment and posted a picture of herself shaking an emoji bell on social media outside an oncology centre in Maidstone, Kent.
Ms Crouch said she would ‘max out on life’ after completing her treatment.
In a letter today to the chair of the Chatham and Aylesford Conservative Association, Ms Crouch wrote: ‘The reasons for not wishing to stand are entirely personal and positive’
In a letter today to the chair of the Chatham and Aylesford Conservative Association, Ms Crouch wrote: ‘The reasons for not wishing to stand are entirely personal and positive.
‘While everyone’s cancer journey is different, for me going through a diagnosis and coming out the other side of treatment has been a life-affirming experience. It has been an opportunity to pause and reflect on my own personal priorities and based on that I truly believe it is time to seek a new professional challenge.
‘We spend far too much time in our relatively short lives putting things off but at some point you have to say to yourself if not now, when and for me I have realised that when is now.’
Ms Crouch added she would work ‘tirelessly’ for her constituents until Parliament is dissolved for the general election.
‘I turn 50 next year and a new adventure awaits,’ she continued.
‘I have no idea yet what it entails and that is both exciting and scary but what I do know is that I will forever be grateful for my time in Parliament, build upon the vast experience it has given me, and enjoy the challenge of whatever comes next.’