Former health secretary Matt Hancock has said he will not stand for the Conservatives in the next general election.
In a letter to the prime minister, Mr Hancock said: “For my part, I want to do things differently. I have discovered a whole new world of possibilities which I am excited to explore – new ways for me to communicate with people of all ages and from all backgrounds.
“I look forward to championing issues that are dear to my heart, including better support for dyslexic children who get a raw deal from the education system.”
A spokesperson for Mr Hancock later confirmed “he has no intention of standing again”.
The former health secretary – who returned to Westminster last week from Australia following his controversial spell on ITV’s I’m A Celebrity… Get Me Out Of Here! – also broke the news in a video posted on social media platform TikTok.
“Today I am announcing I won’t be standing for Parliament as a Conservative at the next election,” he said.
“It’s been a huge privilege to serve in Parliament and serve the people of West Suffolk and I am incredibly grateful to everybody who has supported me both in Suffolk and in government since then.
“I’ve increasingly come to the view that it is so important to engage with people about politics, about how our country is run, not just through Parliament but also through new and innovative ways – and I look forward to doing more of that.
“There are exciting possibilities ahead and, of course, until the next election I will serve all of my constituents and ensure that they have their voice in Parliament.
But, at the same time, make sure that the revival of Conservativism – modern Conservatism that is so necessary – that that debate takes place and engages with everyone – including you.”
Mr Hancock was stripped of the Conservative whip after it emerged he was joining the reality TV show, prompting speculation about his political future and whether he would stand again at the next general election which must take place before January 2025.
The former health secretary is currently sitting as an independent MP in the House of Commons.