Prime Minister David Cameron MP has paid tribute to Sir Tony Baldry following the Banbury MP’s decision to stand down at the next General Election.
Sir Tony announced his retirement earlier today (Monday) after serving as the town’s MP for more than 30 years.
Mr Cameron said: “Sir Tony Baldry has been a first class MP for 32 years and my neighbour for 13 of those. He has held various ministerial posts and served the people of North Oxfordshire with great dedication and vigour.
“Not only has he been the finest example of an MP, but he will also be missed by the party and by me, personally, as a friend.”
Speaking on his website about his decision, Sir Tony said: “One of the consequences of now having five year fixed term Parliaments is that if I succeed in being re-elected at the forthcoming general election, given my age, most people will assume that Parliament will be my last.
“I think this creates a danger that I may be unable to be as effective as I would wish to be; and that the constituency will be distracted from more important issues by the need to choose my successor.
“So after careful thought over the summer recess and 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 North Oxfordshire in Parliament. I will always be extremely grateful for the friendship and support that I have had from so many constituents over so many years.
“It goes without saying that I shall continue to work as hard as possible for my constituents until this Parliament is prorogued next year.”
Click here for a look back at Sir Tony Baldry MP’s career.