Tory grandee Ken Clarke to stand down in 2020 after 50 years in Commons
Conservative former Chancellor Ken Clarke has announced he will stand down at the next election after serving half a century in the Commons.
Mr Clarke, who has represented Rushcliffe in Nottingham since 1970, made his intentions known in an interview with China Daily.
"I have told the officers of my constituency association that once we have finished the boundary changes they had better start choosing my successor,” he said.
“I will not stand again. This is my last parliament."
Sir Nicholas Soames, the Tory MP and grandson of Winston Churchill, praised Mr Clarke as a “big, big, clever, experienced man”.
He told the BBC's Andrew Marr show it will be a “big loss to parliament” when the politician of “great experience and knowledge” stands down.
Mr Clarke served in various Cabinets as Chancellor of the Exchequer, Home Secretary, Lord Chancellor and Justice Secretary, Education Secretary, Health Secretary and Minister without Portfolio.
He spent more than 20 years in the Cabinet, serving under prime ministers Margaret Thatcher, John Major and David Cameron.
He also contested the Conservative Party leadership three times – in 1997, 2001 and 2005 – but was defeated on each occasion.