Two more Conservative MPs have announced that they will not stand for election in the next general election.
Dehenna Davison, 29, minister of advancement, is considered one of the rising stars of the Tori party, so the news of her intention to leave will come as a surprise.
“Throughout my adult life, I have devoted much of my time to politics and helping to make people’s lives better,” the Member of Parliament for Bishop Auckland said in a statement to the Northern Echo.
“But to be honest, it meant I didn’t have anything resembling a normal life for 20 years.”
Ms Davison’s announcement comes shortly after Sir Gary Streeter said he would not stand again in the South West Devon constituency, which he has held quietly since its conception in 1997.
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In his resignation letter, the former frontman said he believed Rishi Sunak, the prime minister, was “recovering strongly from recent problems”.
Two others, William Ragg, 34, and Chloe Smith, 40, confirmed earlier this week that they would also not be running for their seats.
The relatively young age of the Tories who have announced they will stand aside will raise concerns about the potential loss of young talent in the party.
Ms Davison was brought into government by former prime minister Liz Truss and retained the role when Rishi Sunak took over, with her prospects in the party looking high.
She is also a prominent figure in the so-called red wall of former Labor strongholds that Boris Johnson managed to capture for the Tories at the last general election.
In 2019, Ms Davison won the Bishop of Auckland election with a majority of 7,962 votes – despite the constituency having always voted Labor since 1935.
After becoming the eighth Tory MP to say they will not stand again, the party is bracing for a growing exodus as opinion polls show the Conservatives face an uphill battle to regain their popularity.
In his announcement, Sir Gary said a local replacement should be chosen in the constituency “to give us the best chance of taking the seat”, hinting at some doubt.
He won the seat by 21,430 votes over Labour, who came second in the 2019 general election.
“It has been an honor and a privilege to represent this constituency for over 30 years, but the time has come for me to step back and let a younger person take over,” the 67-year-old said.