Alok Sharma, the former Cop26 president, recently announced he would stand down at the next general election, saying it had been the “honour” of his life to have served as an MP.
Mr Sharma, who represents Reading West and previously held the business secretary brief, joins a growing number of Conservative MPs deciding to quit politics.
Sajid Javid, the former health secretary, Dominic Raab, the ex-justice secretary and Ben Wallace, the recently departed defence secretary, are among the other big-name Tories who have called it a day as their party struggles in the polls.
Mr Sharma and Mr Raab, who resigned from his cabinet position following a slew of bullying allegations which he denied, would have been defending majorities of fewer than 5,000 votes at the next national poll.
Most MPs walking away from Westminster are Conservatives, which is unsurprising given they are the biggest party, winning 365 seats at the 2019 election.
According to the Institute for Government, the 2010 election saw more than 100 MPs stand down, mainly from the Labour Party, which had been in power since 1997.
Some MPs also announced they were standing down after the expenses scandal the same year.
Of all the 75 MPs standing down ahead of the next national poll – expected in the spring or summer of next year – 48 are Conservatives.
Harriet Harman, the former Labour leader, Margaret Beckett, the former foreign secretary, and Ben Bradshaw, the former culture secretary are among the 14 Labour MPs standing down.
Eight SNP MPs, three independents – including former health secretary Matt Hancock – one Green and one Plaid Cymru have also decided to call it a day.
Although the Conservatives have the most MPs quitting, the SNP will have the highest turnover following the next election. The eight standing down equates to nearly a fifth of the party’s MPs.
The Conservative Party is on course for a heavy defeat at the next election, according to most surveys, with the Politico website’s “poll of polls” giving Labour a 17 per cent lead.
The opposition has also narrowed the gap in Scotland where the SNP has dominated politics since coming to power north of the border in 2007.