US & Canada

Ex-PM Stephen Harper quits Canada politics

Stephen Harper Image copyright Reuters
Image caption Mr Harper and his wife have stayed in Calgary since the election defeat

Former Prime Minister Stephen Harper has given up his seat as an MP, leaving Canadian politics after more than 20 years to focus on his businesses.

The news comes 10 months after Mr Harper lost the election to Justin Trudeau and then resigned as Conservative leader.

He said representing Calgary in Parliament had been an honour.

He was first elected as a Reform MP in 1993 and later led the Conservative Party to three election victories.

In a written statement, he said: "Friends, we did a lot together, but I know the best is yet to come.

"Our country must continue to serve as a model of prosperity and freedom."

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He listed his achievements as cutting taxes and balancing the national budget.

"We got tough on crime and put families first. We managed our G7 economy through the worst global recession since the Great Depression, and came out in the strongest position of them all."

He said he was preparing for "the next chapter" of his life.

According to Bloomberg, the 57-year-old will work on his consulting, with the intention of launching a firm in Calgary which will focus on international issues.

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