Leicester

Nicky Morgan: Culture Secretary steps down as MP after 'clear impact' on family

Nicky Morgan Image copyright AFP
Image caption Nicky Morgan said being an MP had a "clear impact" on her family

Culture Secretary Nicky Morgan has announced she will not stand in December's general election.

The Loughborough MP said she "can't commit to another five-year term" and said she intended to "be at home far more".

In a letter, she said her role had a "clear impact" on her family and modern MPs were the subject of abuse.

The Remain-supporting Conservative added she would support the prime minister in the forthcoming campaign.

Making the announcement on Twitter, Ms Morgan said: "For the first time in 18 years I won't be a candidate in the next general election."

In the letter to her local party chairman Trevor Ranson, she said: "Being Loughborough's MP has been the greatest privilege of my life."

"But the clear impact on my family and the other sacrifices involved, and the abuse for, doing the job of a modern MP can only be justified if, ultimately, Parliament does what it is supposed to do."

On Thursday morning, she told BBC Radio Leicester she wanted to make clear she was not standing down "for any reasons of disagreement with the prime minister or the direction of the government at all".

She added that the abuse MPs receive has "contributed" to the decision, although was not the "tipping point".

"I think the role of being an MP has changed," she added. "I think the abuse, because of the platforms, because of how strongly people feel about the current political situation, that has changed enormously in the almost 10 years since I started."

Ms Morgan is one of more than 50 incumbents preparing to stand down.

Image caption More than 50 MPs are intending to step down and not seek re-election in December

During her brief tenure as culture secretary she announced the government dropped a plan to use strict age verification checks to stop under-18s viewing porn online.

In August, she was accused of self-interest after refusing to say whether she would resign her cabinet post if Boris Johnson tried to shut down Parliament.

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Media captionAnna Soubry's 85-year-old mother was sent a threatening letter

In an interview with BBC Breakfast she swerved questions on proroguing Parliament to guarantee a no-deal Brexit.

Broxtowe MP Anna Soubry accused Ms Morgan and other ministers of putting their jobs over the best interests of their constituents.

Ms Morgan also served as education secretary under David Cameron between 2014 and 2016, but was removed from her post by Theresa May.

She was the first female chair of the Treasury Select Committee, before being given a role in Boris Johnson's cabinet.

In her letter she also thanked her husband Jonathan for his "unstinting support since I was first selected [as a Tory candidate] in 2004".

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Media captionParliament shut down for no-deal Brexit 'is mad suggestion'

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