It has been the greatest honour of my life to have served as the Member of Parliament for Milton Keynes North for nearly 15 years. Like so many others I have fallen in love, not only with the place but the wonderful people, from all walks of life, that make Milton Keynes one of the best places to live, work and play in our great country.
However - after much soul searching and deliberation, I have decided that now is the time for me to stand down.
This has not been an easy decision, but all good things come to an end. Whilst I would have dearly loved to have seen my constituents wishes delivered and Brexit finally secured on my watch, an early General Election has brought me to the conclusion that, after 15 years, now is the right time to seek new challenges. It is time for somebody else to pick up the baton.
The Milton Keynes’ motto is; “By knowledge, design and understanding”, and it’s in this spirit that we’ve seen this great city go from strength to strength in recent years. MK has flourished thanks to the collective efforts of so many wonderful, dedicated people, and I am sure that if we follow those defining principals, as a community, it will continue to do so.
I will particularly miss all the fantastic Conservative councillors, activists and supporters who have been such a tower of strength to me over the years. However it would be wrong not to recognise all those from across the political spectrum, in particular the 14 Mayors during my time, who have worked together to make Milton Keynes such a vibrant, successful place.
I will be spending the next few weeks doing everything I can to ensure that Milton Keynes North continues to be represented by a strong Conservative MP. That’s the only way we can ensure that Boris Johnson is returned as Prime Minister and Brexit is delivered. The PM has my full and unequivocal support in this challenge.
Finally, as I leave the stage, may I simply offer a plea? The politics of today, with all its anger, abuse and in my own case, two threats on my life, is not the politics we want or need for our great country. It certainly bears no resemblance to the political arena I entered when first elected in 2005. Nor is it the politics of Milton Keynes. We have always been at our best and delivered the most, when we are able to express political disagreements through healthy debate then unite as a community and as a country. I hope one day that we can return to such a place.
Rt Hon Mark Lancaster TD MP