A FORMER Sussex MP has announced he will not stand in the upcoming General Election.

Nick Herbert has been the Conservative MP for Arundel and South Downs since 2005.

But he announced in an open letter that he would not be fighting to keep the role.

He said: “This has been a difficult decision, but after nearly 15 years as MP for this wonderful constituency I feel that this is the right time to move on.

“I will be focusing on my new role as Chairman of the Countryside Alliance; on the think tank which I chair, The Project for Modern Democracy, and on my global work on tuberculosis and equality.

“I am proud of the work I have done in Parliament, as a Shadow Cabinet Member and Minister, and in the constituency.

“I have done my best to stand up for local communities, and I will always be passionate about the countryside and in particular the South Downs which I have grown to love.”

He also made clear that his allegiances remained with the Prime Minister and Conservative party.

Mr Herbert said: “I am also confident that Boris Johnson is committed to maintaining Britain’s leadership position on helping the poorest countries in the world; to supporting LGBT+ rights at home and abroad, and to building an inclusive Conservatism which can appeal to the whole country.

“A vote for any party other than the Conservatives will carry the same risk: that Jeremy Corbyn enters Downing Street, which would be devastating for our country.

“That is why I hope that Arundel and South Downs will continue to return a Conservative Member of Parliament, and I look forward to supporting my successor in the weeks and months ahead.

“I am immensely grateful for the support and friendship which local people have given Jason (his partner) and me, and I will miss working for the constituency a great deal. It has been my honour to be your elected representative.”