Rishi Sunak’s net zero tsar has become the latest Tory MP to announce they will not be running again for parliament.
Chris Skidmore said he would not be fighting to find another constituency when expected boundary changes abolish his Kingswood seat.
The 41-year-old is the ninth Tory MP to confirm they will not stand at the next general election, which is expected in 2024.
His announcement came just 24 hours after levelling up minister Dehenna Davison and Gary Streeter announced that they were also joining the Conservative exodus.
Skidmore, who was first elected in 2010, said: “With no alternative seat, I have decided that I do not wish to fight another constituency elsewhere in the region or country, especially with a very young family who deserve to see more of their father in their lives.”
The former science minister said he now wants to focus on the UK reaching net zero carbon emissions by 2050 as he undertakes a review for Sunak.
“Rather than step aside, I hope that in the future I can step up to continue to play my own small part in helping to deliver on the energy transition that the world needs,” he said.
The relatively young ages of many of the Tories planning to quit has alarmed some within the party.
Davison, who became Bishop Auckland’s first Conservative MP in 2019, is 29, while Chloe Smith and William Wragg – who are also standing down – are 40 and 34 respectively.
The party is braced for a growing exodus as opinion polls suggest the Conservatives face an almighty challenge to recover their popularity.