By Matthew Barrett
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The BBC is reporting that Peter Luff, the Member of Parliament for Mid Worcestershire since 1997, previously Worcester since 1992, is to stand down.
Mr Luff was the Minister for Defence Equipment, Support and Technology until this week. In that role, he had responsibility for overseeing defence procurement.
Before entering government, Mr Luff served as PPS to Tim Eggar and Ann Widdecombe during the Major years, and then during the Blair/Brown years, chaired the Agriculture, Trade and Industry, Business and Enterprise, and Business, Innovation and Skills Select Committees over a period spanning eight years.
In a message to constituents, Mr Luff said:
"My work as defence equipment minister since the last election has been immensely rewarding and encouraging. To work with the finest our country has to offer, the men and women of our armed forces, has been inspirational. The civil servants of the MoD, so often and wrongly derided, that make their work possible have also been superb. To all of them, I express my deep appreciation … The coalition government is grappling with huge challenges, the scale of which is only just becoming clear. David Cameron and his ministers will enjoy my robust support as they address them with the determination and energy I know they will demonstrate."
Mr Luff may well have been planning to retire anyway, or may be doing so for reasons entirely unconnected to the reshuffle. But, given he has announced this only a short time after being asked to step down from his post, it's not unreasonable to expect that other now-ex-Ministers may also have some thoughts of retiring.