Alok Sharma, Reading West MP, not running in next General Election
Sir Alok Sharma has announced he will not be standing in the next General Election.
Mr Sharma, who has been MP for Reading West since 2010, revealed yesterday (Tuesday) that he does not wish to run as a Conservative candidate for the revised seat of Reading West and Mid Berkshire.
He described his time in the role as being the “honour of [his] life” and thanked all the constituents, local organisations, charities and businesses who have campaigned with him.
Mr Sharma has pledged to continue championing climate action in Parliament for the remainder of his tenure as an MP.
His Reading West constituency will be subject to boundary changes at the next General Election, becoming Reading West and Mid Berkshire.
Fellow Conservatives shared online tributes in response to Mr Sharma’s announcement.
Former Newbury MP, Richard Benyon, said: “Alok, your decision is sad but we all owe you an enormous debt of thanks for your outstanding climate leadership.
“You are a good friend and have been a great Berkshire MP and colleague.
“I know that you will be successful in whatever you next do.”
Ben Blackmore has been elected as chairman of the newly formed Reading West and Mid Berkshire Conservative Association, with Ross Mackinnon (Con, Bradfield) confirmed as his deputy chairman.
Mr Mackinnon said he was “delighted and honoured” to take on the new position and added: “With responsibility for political campaigning for local and parliamentary elections, I'll do my utmost to get Conservatives elected.”
As previously reported by newburytoday, the boundary changes will see the Newbury seat carved up and villages east of Thatcham moved to a new MP.
The new Newbury constituency will extend from Upper Lambourn to Thatcham and from Fawley and Farnborough to Combe, covering Hungerford, Inkpen, Chieveley, Cold Ash and the Downlands villages.
The villages of Aldermaston, Basildon, Bradfield and Bucklebury will move from Newbury into the new Mid-Berkshire constituency.
Calcot, Pangbourne, Purley-on-Thames, Sulham, Theale, Tidmarsh and Tilehurst – currently in Reading West – will fall under Reading West and Mid Berkshire, along with Beenham, Burghfield, Padworth, and Mortimer, which are currently in the Wokingham constituency.