Tory MP Louise Mensch to quit Commons
- Published on Monday, 06 August 2012 09:51
- Posted by Vicki Mitchem
Conservative politician and novelist Louise Mensch is to stand down as an MP, the party has announced.
The MP for Corby is moving to New York with her three children to be with her husband of a year, Peter Mensch, who is manager of rock band Metallica.
Her decision to quit will trigger a by-election in the Northamptonshire constituency, a marginal seat.
Before entering politics she made her name as a best-selling chick-lit author, under her maiden name Bagshawe.
The MP, who won her seat in 2010 with a 1,951 majority, said she was finding it increasingly difficult to juggle family responsibilities with her political career and her decision to quit politics was "devastating but necessary".
The by-election will be held on 15 November - the same day as elections for police and crime commissioners are held across England and Wales.
It is the first Conservative-held seat to be contested since the 2010 election and will be a major test for David Cameron and the coalition.
Writing to the prime minister to announce her resignation, Mrs Mensch said: "As you know, I have been struggling for some time to find the best outcome for my family life, and have decided, in order to keep us together, to move to New York. With the greatest regret, I am thus resigning as a MP."
She thanked the prime minister for his support during her time in Parliament, saying it had been an "honour" to fill the role.
"It is only through your personal intervention, delivered quietly and without fanfare, that I have been able to manage my duties for this long."
But she added: "I am very sorry that despite my best efforts, I have been unable to make the balancing act work for our family."
In his response, the prime minister said it had not been an "easy decision" for the MP, who he said had been a "truly inspiring" representative.
"It is with enormous regret that I accept your resignation as the MP for Corby and East Northamptonshire, a seat that had been Labour for thirteen years before you.
"I do so only because I wish to support you in acting in the best interests of your family, which must come first."
Mrs Mensch was one of the most high-profile Conservatives to enter the Commons in 2010 and has been in the spotlight since then as a member of the Commons culture committee which has been investigating phone hacking.