Government Chief Whip to step down

Basingstoke Gazette: Sir George Young Sir George Young

NORTH West Hampshire MP Sir George Young has announced that he is to retire in 2015.

The Government Chief Whip revealed the decision at the Executive Council of the North West Conservative Association in Andover on Friday.

The MP said: “I have decided to retire from the House of Commons at the end of this Parliament. I have had a good innings and it is time to let others have the chance that I had back in 1974. I know there are some top-quality candidates waiting in the wings to take over the baton.”

Sir George Young, 72, first became an MP for Ealing Acton in 1974, and after his constituency was removed due to boundary changes, he was elected MP for North West Hampshire in 1997.

During his time as an MP, Sir George has had various ministerial roles including Secretary to the Treasury in 1994-5 and Secretary of State for Transport in 1995-7.

The MP twice lost out in his battle to become Speaker in the House of Commons, losing to Michael Martin in 2000 and current Speaker John Bercow in 2009.

Sir George became Leader of the House of Commons and Lord Privy Seal in 2010 and returned to Cabinet in the role of Conservative Chief Whip in 2012, after the resignation of MP Andrew Mitchell following the “plebgate” row.

Sir George said: “I will have done 41 years as an MP by May 2015, and I have done 17 of them as a Minister. I admire those who are older than I am and who want to continue, but I propose to declare at 41 not out.

“I have been very fortunate to have represented two constituencies – Ealing Acton and North West Hampshire. It has been a privilege to serve both as the local MP with majorities varying from 800 to over 18,000. I have been lucky with the support I have had from two fantastic Conservative Associations – Ealing Acton from 1974-1997, and North West Hampshire from 1997.”

He continued: “I have also been lucky enough to have had a wide variety of jobs in Government, serving Margaret Thatcher, John Major and now David Cameron. My appointment as Chief Whip last year was the fourth time I have joined the Government.

“I enjoy my work as Chief Whip and I will continue to work hard for the party in Parliament and here as your local MP right up to the wire, before handing over to my successor in North West Hants as Conservative candidate.”

The MP is married to wife Aurelia and they have two sons, Gerry and Hugo, and two daughters, Sophia and Camilla.

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