John Baron MP to step down at next General Election
MP thanks constituents and Parliamentary staff
John Baron has served as a local Member of Parliament for 22 years, first as the MP for Billericay from 2001 and representing the successor seat of Basildon & Billericay since 2010. Having initially been re-selected to fight the next General Election by his local association, John has announced that he has decided not to stand after all and, consequently, he will step down at the next election, which must be held by January 2025. The Basildon & Billericay Conservative Association will now begin the process of seeking a new candidate.
John said: “Although I continue to believe the Prime Minister will win the next General Election given his competence and compassion, after what will be 23 years’ service I have decided the time has come for me to move on. It has been a great honour and privilege to serve my constituents, and I thank all for their support and kindness over the years. I have been lucky to make many friends.”
“I thank all members of my Conservative Association for their trust and support, and leave happy in the knowledge that, in comparison to 2001, we are in a much better place. The Association is strong, we have many excellent councillors and residents have increasingly placed their trust in us. There is an abundance of goodwill. Nationally, our exit from the EU is now embedded and the country is doing well economically with inflation coming down, wages rising and record employment.”
"It has been a great honour and privilege to serve my constituents, and I thank all for their support and kindness over the years. I have been lucky to make many friends." ~ John Baron CBE MP
“I also leave believing our political system is serving the nation well, whatever the cynics may say. In that vein, I thank all those who work in Parliament to ensure its smooth running – from the doorkeepers and clerks to the catering and cleaning staff. Their roles are essential in the functioning of this great institution.”
“I also thank my excellent team – both past and present. My constituency team has been with me since I became the MP and my London team for up to 15 years. 80 years of service between them is a rarity in politics. The job is a team effort – MPs can not function if their teams do not share a belief in public service. I am very proud of them all.”
John succeeded the late Teresa Gorman as MP for Billericay in 2001 and, like his predecessor, has been a prominent Eurosceptic with a reputation for being fiercely independent. He first resigned from the frontbench in 2003 in opposition to the Iraq War and resigned again in 2010 in opposition to military intervention, being the only Conservative MP to vote against Libya and, later, opposing intervention in Syria. He went on to be selected to represent the current Basildon & Billericay constituency following boundary changes and has since been re-elected five times, most recently in 2019, when he was returned to Parliament with a 67% share of the vote and a majority of 20,412.
He was one of the leading advocates for a referendum on our membership of the European Union, most notably tabling an almost unprecedented amendment to the Queen's Speech to "express regret" that a referendum on the EU could not be held sooner. This was backed by over 100 MPs. He was chosen as BBC 'Parliamentarian of the Year' in 2015 and is a former long-serving member of the Commons Foreign Affairs Select Committee and currently serves on the European Scrutiny Committee and the influential Treasury Select Committee. He received a CBE in the recent King's Birthday Honours List.
Cllr Andrew Baggott, Leader of Basildon Borough Conservatives and Deputy Chairman of the Basildon & Billericay Conservative Association, said: "I am sorry that John Baron has ultimately decided to stand down but he does so with the profound thanks of the Association for more than two decades of faithful service to the constituency. We wish him and Thalia all the best for the future and the Association now looks forward to selecting a new candidate to carry on John's hard work, championing the constituency in Parliament."