Published: 07:00, 15 January 2015
MP Sir Hugh Robertson is to stand down at the general election.
Sir Hugh, who was born and brought up in the county, was elected MP for Faversham and Mid Kent in 2001 – regarded as Kent’s safest Conservative seat.
He said he wanted to pursue a different role outside politics and felt the time was right to stand aside.
“Having recently reached my 52nd birthday, and with five-year parliaments now part of the political landscape, this is realistically the last opportunity to move on.”
In a statement, he said he was grateful for the hard work and support of members of his association.
“It has been a huge privilege to represent my home area for the past decade and a half.”
His constituency includes Park Wood, Shepway, Sutton Valence, Lenham, Hollingbourne and Headcorn.
But it was in Bearsted that one of his biggest tests came when he spoke out several years ago against plans for a large road and rail freight hub being built in the countryside next to the M20.
In 2010 the scheme for the Kent International Gateway was dropped.
He also backed calls for Maidstone council to reduce house-building targets.
A former investment broker, Sir Hugh added he was fortunate to have enjoyed two very different ministerial jobs, one as minister for sport and the Olympics during London 2012.
The success of the games and British athletes’ record medal haul were recognised when he was knighted last year.
At the last reshuffle, he resigned as a Foreign Office minister saying he wanted to spend more time with his family.
Before becoming an MP, Sir Hugh was an officer in The Life Guards from 1985 to 1995 seeing active service in Northern Ireland, Cyprus, The Gulf War and Bosnia where he commanded the British detachment in Sarajevo during the siege of the city.
He also commanded The Household Cavalry in 1993 at Queen’s Birthday Parade and state opening of Parliament.
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