Croydon South MP Richard Ottaway to stand down at 2015 General Election
CROYDON South MP Richard Ottaway will be standing down at the next General Election, he has announced tonight.
The 67-year-old confirmed he'd be retiring from parliamentary politics at the 2015 election during a Tory party meeting at Christ Church, in Purley, this evening (Friday).
Mr Ottaway's move has already sparked specualtion about his successor in the safe Conservative seat, with Mayor of London Boris Johnson among those rumoured to be in the frame, as he looks for a route back into Westminster politics.
Croydon GLA member and Kenley councillor Steve O Connell is also sure to be in the frame.
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Mr Ottaway tonight told Conservative Party members: "Serving the Croydon South constituency for more than two decades has been an immense privilege. I have been lucky to work alongside excellent colleagues and residents who care so deeply about this great neighbourhood.
"Whether helping individuals resolve issues on health, education or housing, or campaigning successfully for major projects including the Coulsdon Bypass, the modernisation of Purley Hospital and the Cane Hill redevelopment – I love every minute of my job.
"But I feel now is the right time to call it a day. I would like to spend time with my family and enjoy my hobbies while I still can."
Mr Ottaway, a former naval officer, is also the chairman of the Commons' Foreign Affairs Select Committee.
He has represented Croydon South since 1992, having previously been the MP for Nottingham North from 1983-87.
Mr Ottaway faced criticism during the MP expenses scandal of 2009, when it was revealed he was claiming second home expenses for a house in Surrey - despite owning two London flats.
But despite the furore, he was re-elected in the following year's General Election - with an increased majority.
Mr Ottaway has promised it will be business as usual until the 2015 election.
He said: "Today is far from the end of the road for me – there's plenty of important work to be getting on with in Parliament and in my constituency.
"I will be working at full speed, right up to the general election when I hope David Cameron will be re-elected as Prime Minister of a Conservative government. He's the right man to be leading the party and the country."
In August, the Advertiser reported how the Tories were said to be looking at Croydon South, along with two seats in Surrey, as potential constituencies to parachute London mayor Johnson into, as he looks for a route back into the Commons.
And, in the wake of Mr Ottaway's announcement, several political commentators have already taken to Twitter, linking Mr Johnson with the seat which currently has a majority of nearly 16,000.
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