Laura Sandys MP to Step Down in 2015
It is with great sadness and regret that I wish to announce that I will not be standing at the next general election in 2015. For the last six months I have been considering my future in light of a wide range of family demands and have decided that I cannot combine the level of dedication and service needed for the constituency with my growing personal responsibilities to those closest and dearest to me.
It has been a difficult and heart-wrenching decision to make as there is no greater honour and privilege than representing the constituents of South Thanet. The people of South Thanet are an inspiration to me with their dedication to our communities, their strength, their steadfastness and their sense of identity. I want to thank all those who have worked with me to ensure that we are getting the best for our local towns and villages.
Over the past few years, I believe that we have together secured many positive improvements to the quality of life in South Thanet: £40million of small business support funds; improved High Speed train services; flood defences; new international business investment into the area; an extended visitor season; and improving standards in our schools and colleges.
I want to thank my colleagues – the councillors and the council candidates – who I have worked closely with to achieve the best outcomes for our residents.
I wish to assure you that between now and the next election I will work tirelessly to achieve more for our wonderful area, making representation for our causes, supporting community groups and taking on individual cases on behalf of residents. My team and I will be at full steam until we can hand over the work to the next Member of Parliament.
These years working and living in South Thanet have been the most memorable of my life. I hope that I have been able to repay what you have given me with some lasting benefits that will improve the future life and prosperity of all our residents.
North Thanet’s MP, Sir Roger Gale, added:
I am deeply saddened that, for wholly understandable domestic reasons that I appreciate and respect, Laura has decided not to offer herself for re-election as the Member of Parliament for South Thanet.
Laura moved to Thanet and threw herself into the task from the moment of her selection to fight the 2010 General Election. She has worked absolutely tirelessly in the cause of the people that she has sought to represent so diligently. She was faced, almost from her first day as an MP, with the enormity of the closure of the Pfizer plant and the work that she has put in to not simply mitigate the damage but to help to create a really viable and successful alternative in the Discovery Park has been stunning.
As a parliamentary colleague and neighbour Laura has been a delight to work with. She has made herself a part of the local community and hers will be a very hard act for the next Conservative MP to follow but she leaves a legacy of achievement for her successor to build upon and I know that both she and I will continue to work together to ensure that the fruits of her hard work are followed through.
Richard Rowson, Chair of the South Thanet Conservative Association:
I am very sorry indeed that for family and personal reasons Laura Sandys has decided not to seek re-election in 2015. This will be a great loss to South Thanet where Laura has already achieved a huge amount for the constituency and for countless individuals and local businesses, and will continue to do so until the next General Election.
The normal selection process for our Prospective Parliamentary Candidate will shortly be underway, and I am confident that this Association will soon have in place a first rate candidate who will be able to carry forward Laura’s brilliant work on behalf of the people of Thanet.