Michael Gove is to stand down as Conservative MP for Surrey Heath. Mr Gove has been an MP since May 2005 and won an 18,000 majority in the constituency in 2019.

The Secretary of State for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities is the most prominent of the Tory MPs, now numbering about 80, who will not contest the next election.

“After nearly 20 years serving the wonderful people of Surrey Heath and over a decade in Cabinet across five government departments, I have taken the decision to step down as a Member of Parliament,” Mr Gove said in announcing his decision.

“There comes a moment when you know that it is time to leave, that a new generation should lead.

“Undoubtedly the most satisfying part of the job is the help I have been able to give individuals fighting for a fairer deal for their families.

“The next Conservative MP for Surrey Heath will inherit the best constituency in the country.”