It’s emerged, this evening, that Aidan Burley is to stand down as MP for Cannock Chase at the next election. He has, it’s fair to say, had a rather torrid time since entering Parliament in 2010. After originally being tipped for success, he was, of course, sacked as Justine Greening’s PPS after photographs of that Nazi-themed stag party emerged. More recently, the Mail on Sunday has questioned the testimony he gave to CCHQ’s investigation into all that. Whether this has contributed to his resignation, it cannot yet be said.
As for the seat Burley is leaving to someone else, the Conservative majority is currently just 3,195 votes over Labour. Given the nature of his time in office, and the fact that it had been a Labour seat for the three elections before 2010, you suspect it will be a tough one to hold on to.
Anyway, here’s Burley’s own statement:
“It was a wonderful surprise to win the seat of Cannock Chase in May 2010 with the biggest swing in the country and it has been a huge privilege to represent the people of Cannock Chase in Parliament over the past four years. I am grateful to all those who voted for me and supported our campaign which led to our famous victory, winning a seat which had been held by Labour for 18 years. In particular I would like to thank my Agent Ian Collard, without whom none of this would have been possible, and who has been my rock of support since being selected as the Conservative Candidate in July 2008.
I am proud to have been able to deliver many positive things for our area since our election success, including spearheading the campaign to save Cannock Chase Hospital from the administrators axe, running four local Jobs Fayres to help get people back into work, and securing £35 million to electrify the Chase Line. That is what really matters to local people in their day to day lives.
After a difficult time I have decided to announce I will stand down at the next general election. I will continue to work for the people of Cannock Chase until that election, and look forward to supporting my successor, as soon as he or she is selected, to ensure that Labour have no chance of re-taking this seat.”
And one from Grant Shapps:
“Aidan has a strong record in his constituency from securing the future of Cannock Chase Hospital, to setting up local job fairs and getting hundreds of people back to work.
He has served his constituents with dedication and commitment.
I wish him the best of luck with whatever he does next.”