Bob Walter is to stand down as the MP for North Dorset ahead of the 2015 General Election.
Having completed close to 18 years of service to the people of the the parliamentary constituency – which stretches from Alderholt to Galnvilles Wootton and Winterborne Zelston to Bourton – Bob will not be standing as the Conservative candidate in May.
Although not retiring from politics altogether, Bob has decided it is time for him to hand over the reins to a new Conservative candidate in recognition of the fact that, by the end of the next Parliament, he will be approaching 72 years old.
He wants to offer the opportunity to a younger Conservative to represent North Dorset as their MP. He is convinced that the next generation will provide a representative who will work tirelessly to represent the needs of the rural constituency in the years to come.
Bob was elected in 1997 and has been re-elected on three subsequent occasions, increasing his majority in 2010.
He said: “It has been an honour and a privilege to serve the people of North Dorset for the last 17 years. Stepping down has been a very difficult decision and not one I have taken lightly.
“However, I want the best for my constituents and am now confident that a new Conservative MP will be better able, by the end of the next parliament, to withstand the rigours of what is undoubtedly a 24-hour-a-day, 7-day-a-week job. They will have my full support.
“I and my team in Westminster and at my Blandford constituency office will, of course, continue to represent and provide assistance to all constituents who have need of it up until 7 May 2015, when a new MP for North Dorset will be elected.”