The scandal-rocked former Conservative Minister for Civil Society, Brooks Newmark MP, has today announced that he will not seek re-election in Braintree in May next year following a fresh new scandal set to be reported by the Sun on Sunday newspaper tomorrow.
Newmark, who was forced to resign as a government minister last month following a lewd exchange of online message between him and a journalist posing as a young, right-wing public relations girl, has announced today that he doesn’t intend to fight the Essex seat.
He said today: “The continued media intrusion into past episodes in my personal life is placing an intolerable burden on my family. I have therefore decided to stand down at the general election. I will continue to serve my constituents to the best of my abilities until that time.
“I again appeal to the media to respect my family’s privacy and to give me a chance to try to heal the hurt I have caused them.
“I have no one to blame but myself and take full responsibility for my own actions.
“I will remain a loyal supporter of the Government and would like to thank the many friends and colleagues for the support and sympathy they have shown me and my family.”
The seat of Braintree in Essex is considered a “safe Tory seat”, and Newmark’s majority is a whopping 16,121. But this won’t stop some calling for a by-election now, rather than waiting for Mr Newmark to continue earning his MP’s salary and receiving his severance package in May.
Newmark has been the Member of Parliament since 2005, and while the area is significantly better off than Clacton, where UKIP just took a Conservative seat, it will be on Nigel Farage’s radar as a possible upset. Much like the Labour stronghold of Heywood and Middleton almost was earlier this week, where UKIP missed out by just over 600 votes.