Election 2024: Michael Gove to stand down as MP

Election 2024: Michael Gove to stand down as MP

Levelling up secretary Michael Gove has said he will stand down as an MP at the upcoming general election. 

It makes Gove the 77th Conservative MP to announce they are quitting parliament — the most since the 1997 election.

In a statement posted to X/Twitter, Gove said: “After nearly twenty years serving the wonderful people of Surrey Heath and over a decade in Cabinet across five government departments, I have today taken the decision to step down as a Member of Parliament.”

In a letter to the chairman of the Surrey Heath Conservatives attached to the post, the long-surviving cabinet minister went on to cite the “toll” of serving in office, adding that it was a time for a “new generation to lead”.

Gove was first elected as the Conservative MP for Surrey Heath in 2005, being re-elected in 2019 with a majority of 18,394.

However, the seat he has now vacated is widely regarded as a Liberal Democrat target at the coming election.

A constituency-level poll by YouGov last month projected Gove would win his Surrey Heath consistency, but only by a margin of one per cent.

The levelling up, housing and communities secretary is one of the most recognisable figures in UK politics, having sat around the cabinet table for most of the period between 2010 and 2024 and acted as co-convenor of the Vote Leave campaign during the 2016 EU referendum.

In October 2022, Gove was re-appointed as secretary of state for levelling up by new prime minister Rishi Sunak, having previously held the position between 2021 and July 2022. His first stint at the department was ended by Boris Johnson just one day before the then-PM resigned after Gove was accused of disloyalty.

Gove was chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster between 2019 and 2021, and served as the secretary of state for environment, food and rural affairs under Theresa May from 2017 to 2019.

Under David Cameron, he served as secretary of state for Justice (2015-2016), government chief whip (2014-15), and secretary of state for education (2010-2014).

He has twice stood for the Conservative leadership (2016, 2019) coming third on both occasions. 

He shocked Westminster by backing the relatively unknown Kemi Badenoch for the party leadership in July 2022.

This breaking news story is being updated and more details will be published shortly.

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