Speaking at the Executive Council of the North West Hampshire Conservative Association at the Guild Hall in Andover on November 29th, Sir George said.
“Earlier this year, the Chairman asked me whether it was my intention to stand again and we agreed that I would give an answer at this evening’s Executive Council.
I have decided to retire from the House of Commons at the end of this Parliament. I have had a good innings and it is time to let others have the chance that I had back in 1974. I know there are some top quality candidates waiting in the wings to take over the baton.
I will have done 41 years as an MP by May 2015, and I have done 17 of them as a Minister. I admire those who are older than I am and who want to continue, but I propose to declare at 41 not out.
I have been very fortunate to have represented two constituencies – Ealing Acton and North West Hampshire. It would be difficult to find two Conservative seats that are more different. It has been a privilege to serve both as the local MP with majorities varying from 800 to over 18000. I have been lucky with the support I have had from two fantastic Conservative Associations – Ealing Acton from 1974-1997, and North West Hampshire from 1997.
I have also been lucky enough to have had a wide variety of jobs in Government, serving Margaret Thatcher, John Major and now David Cameron. My appointment as Chief Whip last year was the fourth time I have joined the Government.
I enjoy my work as Chief Whip and I will continue to work hard for the Party in Parliament; and here as your local MP right up to the wire, before handing over to my successor in North West Hants as Conservative candidate.”