Tony “Baldrick” Baldry, Tory MP for Banbury since 1983 and parliament’s most senior Freemason, has announced he is off:
“After careful thought over summer recess & discussions with my family, I have decided to stand down at the next General Election. It is an enormous privilege to represent the people of N.Oxon. I’m grateful for the friendship & support from constituents over so many years.”
Baldry has an 18,000 majority so it will be hard to spin it as a conspiracy, unlike with last night’s resignation of 2010 intake right-winger Chris Kelly, whose 3,800 majority was under threat in the UKIP target seat of Dudley South. Kelly says he’s not joining UKIP but wishes Carswell the best…
9 Tory MPs first elected in '10 now retiring : Mensch, Lee, Burley, Weatherley, Kelly, Sandys, Fullbrook, Byles, Evans HT @tobyperkinsmp
— Nick Robinson (@bbcnickrobinson) September 1, 2014
Presumably standing down to spend more time with Nadine Dorries’ daughter.