A long-standing MP and former minister has announced she will not be standing at the next general election.
Tracey Crouch confirmed her decision to stand down as the representative for Chatham and Aylesford shortly after noon today.
The 48-year-old, who was born in Ashford, insisted the decision was for reasons “entirely personal and positive”.
The Tory began serving the constituency after winning the seat from Labour's Jonathan Shaw in 2010.
She was also appointed as Minister for Sport, Civil Society and Loneliness in 2017, however, she resigned a year later.
In June 2020, Ms Crouch was diagnosed with breast cancer and in February 2021 revealed she had completed her treatment.
In her statement published online, she says the experience gave her the opportunity to “pause and reflect”.
She explained: “The reasons for not wishing to stand are entirely personal and positive.
"While everyone’s cancer journey is different, for me going through a diagnosis and coming out the other side of treatment has been a life-affirming experience.
“It has been an opportunity to pause and reflect on my own-personal priorities and based on that I truly believe it is a time to seek a new professional challenge.
“We spend far too much time in our relatively short lives putting things off, but, at some point, you have to say to yourself if not now, when, and for me I have realised that when is now.
“None of this would have happened if the Chatham & Aylesford Conservative Association had not put their faith in a 31-year-old me, nearly 18 years ago.
“I shall look forward to supporting whoever is selected to stand as the Conservative candidate at the next general election – whenever that might be.
“It goes without saying that I shall continue to work tirelessly for my constituents until Parliament is dissolved.
“I still have many things to do on behalf of residents, whether they are as individual constituents or for the community at large, and will do until the very end.”
The next UK general election has to be held by January 28, 2025, but could take place earlier.