Conservative MP Tracey Crouch has announced she will stand down at the next election after her “life affirming experience” of having cancer and “coming out the other side”.
The former sports minister, who has represented Chatham and Aylesford since 2010, was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2020, aged 44.
She spent five months of lockdown receiving chemotherapy and continued with radiotherapy, but announced in 2021 that she had been given the all clear – urging women of all ages to “check your bits and bobbins”.
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Posting a letter she wrote to her local Conservative Party chairman on X, Ms Crouch said her reasons for not wanting to stand for parliament again were “entirely personal and positive”.
She added: “While everyone’s cancer journey is different, for me going through a diagnosis and coming out the other side of treatment has been a life affirming experience.
“It has been an opportunity to pause and reflect on my own personal priorities and based on that I truly believe it is time to seek a new professional challenge.
“We spend far too much time in our relatively short lives putting things off but at some point, you have to say to yourself if not now, when and for me I have realised that when is now.”
During her time in parliament, Ms Crouch – an FA qualified coach – became well known for her passion for football and campaigned on a number of issues, including gambling restrictions and help for those with dementia.
She also became the first Tory minister to take maternity leave in 2016, revealing she had a miscarriage during the 2015 general election campaign and wanted to put family first.
In the letter, Ms Crouch thanked her constituents, staff and her local party, adding: “I turn 50 next year and a new adventure awaits.
“I have no idea yet what it entails and that is both exciting and scary but what I do know is that I will forever be grateful for my time in parliament, build upon the vast experience it has given me, and enjoy the challenge of whatever comes next.”
Ms Crouch becomes the 57th Tory MP to announce they will not stand at the next election.