PRIME Minister David Cameron has announced that Michael Gove will replace Sir George Young as the Conservative Chief Whip after the North West Hampshire MP announced his resignation yesterday.
Sir George, 72, announced that he had stood down from his position in David Cameron’s cabinet the day before the Prime Minister prepares to announce a reshuffle which is set to see more female MPs given top roles in Parliament.
The North West Hampshire MP has held the role of the Conservative Chief Whip since 2012, after the resignation of MP Andrew Mitchell following the “plebgate” row.
His announcement marks the second time the veteran MP has left David Cameron’s Government after he resigned from his position as Leader of the House of Commons and Lord Privy Seal in September 2012, only to take the role of Chief Whip one month later.
As previously reported by The Gazette, Sir George Young announced in November that he was to stand down from his position as North West Hampshire MP at the General Election in 2015.
Sir George Young will be replaced at the next election by Deputy Mayor of London for Business and Enterprise, Kit Malthouse.
In a letter to David Cameron in June, Sir George said: “When we met at Number 10 on June 12, I said I would like to stand down as Chief Whip when you next reshuffled the Government.
“After completing two and a half years as Leader of the House in 2012, I had no idea I would be asked back in to the Government so soon, to take over the Whips’ Office from Andrew Mitchell.
“It has been a real pleasure to help put the Government’s legislative programme on the statute book and to lead a first rate team of Conservative Whips, ably supported by my special adviser, my principal private secretary and the entire team in the Government Whips’ Office.
"I believe the parliamentary party is now in a better shape, with morale high, as we gear up for the next election.”
He added: “Since re-joining the Government, I have announced my decision to retire from Parliament at the next election.
"Therefore given the wide range of talent on the backbenches, I believe it makes sense for me to leave the Government now and to allow others to have the chance I had, when I first joined the Whips’ Office in 1976.
“I look forward to supporting the Coalition Government from the backbenches for the remaining months of this Parliament.”
Sir George 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.
The MP is married to wife Aurelia and they have two sons, Gerry and Hugo, and two daughters, Sophia and Camilla.