When I was selected as the Conservative Parliamentary Candidate for Croydon Central, it looked as though the General Election might be held early, either in late 2008 or sometime in 2009. But it now looks like the Labour Party have decided to stick with Gordon Brown and that the General Election will be next spring, probably on the same day as the Council elections. With the Conservative Party soon to select its candidates for those elections, I needed to make a decision about whether I am going to stand for re-election to Croydon Council as well as standing to be an MP.
I don't think it is appropriate for someone to get paid to be an MP and a councillor, particularly when their ward is in a different Parliamentary constituency. Nor would it be right for me to hedge my bets by standing in both elections and then stand down from the Council if I get elected as an MP, thereby wasting taxpayers’ money on a by-election. I have therefore decided that the honourable thing to do is to announce now that I will not be standing for re-election to the Council next May.