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MP Peter Luff announces plan to step down
MID-WORCESTERSHIRE MP Peter Luff is quitting Parliament at the next general election, he has announced.
The 57-year-old, who first won a seat back in 1992, said it was “the right time to call it a day” after more than two decades as an MP.
He has also stepped down as a junior defence minister immediately – but insisted that he was not pushed out of the role by David Cameron.
Mr Luff met the Prime Minister at his Commons office on Tuesday, and said he told Mr Cameron at the start of the conversation of his intention to quit as an MP in 2015.
“I don’t know if he would have kept me on as a minister or not because at the start of the conversation, I told him I was leaving Parliament at the next general election,” he said.
“So we agreed it was best if I did not carry on in that role, and I think that was the right approach.”
Mr Luff said it was an “immense privilege” to be an MP, and that he had stayed in Parliament for longer than he originally intended.
“I haven’t got anything else lined up, no offers, nothing,” he said. “But I’ve carried on for a long time and it’s right I ended it at some time.” He also put out a statement backing the coalition Government and saying he remained a strong supporter.
“The Coalition Government is grappling with huge challenges, the scale of which is only just becoming clear,” he said.
“David Cameron and his ministers will enjoy my robust support as they address them with the determination and energy I know they will demonstrate. It has been an immense privilege to serve the county of Worcestershire in Parliament – for 23 years by the time the next election is held in 2015.”
The rise and resignation of Peter Luff
PETER Luff was born in Windsor. After grammar school he went up to Corpus Christi College, Cambridge, where he secured a degree and an MA in economics.
The father-of-two carved out an early parliamentary career as a research assistant to former Worcester MP Peter Walker, the start of a journey which eventually established him as a leading Conservative.
He became managing director of Good Relations, a public affairs firm, in the early 1980s before becoming a special adviser to trade secretary David Young.
After becoming Worcester’s MP in 1992 he moved on to the Mid-Worcestershire seat five years later when the parliamentary boundaries were redrawn.
He has commanded a huge majority in this constituency ever since.
He went on to serve on many select committees over the years, including ones for trade and industry, business and enterprise, and innovation. But his highest profile role came in 2010, when David Cameron made him minister for defence equipment, support and technology.
His reputation for fighting campaigns has won him many supporters along the way, most notably when he got the Government to scrap plans for a 750-capacity asylum centre in Throckmorton, near Pershore, in 2002. He also fought for the speed cameras along the notorious A449 between Claines and Kidderminster and helped lead the campaign to reopen the Droitwich canals.
In 2005 he also beat proposals to cut services at Evesham Community Hospital, a stance which put him on a collision course with former health secretary Patricia Hewitt.
The Wyre Piddle bypass, which was finally completed in 2002 after years of struggle by residents to get it in place, was also championed by Mr Luff.
He has also been a staunch supporter of better railway services between Worcestershire to London, saying the Cotswold Line, as it is called, needs more frequent services.
Known for his combative style, he was once reprimanded in the House of Commons for shouting at Tony Blair over the tax credits fiasco of 2005, when tens of thousands of families were left on as little as £56 a week due to administrative errors.
He now says he will remain on the backbenches until 2015.