Wokingham’s long-standing MP has said he is not standing for re-election on July 4 – after some 37 years in post.

Sir John Redwood made the announcement in a post to his website on Friday morning, May 24. He said: “I have decided not to put my name forward in the forthcoming election. I have other things I wish to do.

“It has been a privilege to represent Wokingham in nine Parliaments. I have drawn many of my campaigns from the views I have heard on doorsteps and read in my email box. We have achieved good things together for our local community and the wider nation.”

Emma Webster, chairwoman of the Berkshire area Conservatives, said local Tories were ‘saddened’ by Mr Redwood’s sudden decision.

READ MORE: Labour announces candidate in Wokingham

She said: “We are saddened to hear that, after 37 years, Sir John has taken the decision not to stand at the forthcoming election.

“Sir John has served his constituency and country with distinction. He served as a Minister and in a series of Cabinet and Shadow Cabinet roles – including as Head of Policy for Margaret Thatcher.

“Above all, he has consistently and diligently served his constituents in Wokingham – something proved by the fact they have endorsed him at eight elections in a row. We want to thank him for his service and wish him well for the future”.

Liberal Democrat candidate in Wokingham Clive Jones said he was ‘staggered’ by Mr Redwood’s  ‘ungracious’ statement. He told the News: “Where is the thank you for all the people that have worked to get him elected nine times in Wokingham?

“Where is the thank you for all the people who have voted for him nine times in Wokingham? I just think it’s awful.”

Mr Jones said he believed Mr Redwood had decided he was in ‘serious trouble’ in the coming general election and had ‘run away from the fight'.

Mr Redwood is the fourth of Berkshire’s six Conservative MPs to announce that he will not stand for re-election. Theresa May, Adam Afriyie and Alok Sharma have also said they won’t stand. James Sunderland in Bracknell and Laura Farris in Newbury are both standing again.

Mr Jones said he is the ‘best person’ to deliver change in Wokingham. But Andy Croy, chairman of the Labour Party in Wokingham, said the choice is ‘between a Labour government or a Conservative one'.

He told the News: “We’re very much focussed on getting Monica Hamidi elected. We don’t care who the Tory candidate is – we’ll be working to get a Labour MP elected in Wokingham.

John Redwood has been contacted for further comment.