December 10 2013 Latest news:
Monday, October 7, 2013
Norwich North MP Chloe Smith has quit her cabinet office role, saying she wants to concentrate on her work in her constituency.
The Conservative MP, who wrote to the prime minister to tender her resignation last month, will give up her role as part of a ministerial reshuffle expected today.
Ms Smith, who was elected to parliament aged 27 in a by-election in 2009 and held the seat in the 2010 election, said she wanted to concentrate on her work in the constituency, her Norwich for Jobs campaign and also wanted to work to encourage younger people to get involved in politics.
In David Cameron’s response to Ms Smith’s letter, the prime minister said: “After serving the government so ably for over three years, you will certainly be missed, but I completely understand and respect your decision.”
Below is Ms Smith’s letter to the prime minister in full and David Cameron’s response.
CHLOE SMITH’s LETTER
I understand that you are considering changes to your administration and I write before then to request to stand down as a minister at your next reshuffle.
I have greatly valued the chance to serve in your government over three years as a Whip and as a Minister in the Treasury and the Cabinet Office.
Most recently I am proud to have helped Francis Maude achieve £10bn savings for the taxpayer from wasteful government spend.
I have been privileged to serve my country and my party under your leadership.
However, for the remainder of the Parliament I want to be able to spend more time serving my constituents. My constituents have always come first for me, and they know the high standards and hard work that I ask of myself as the Member of Parliament for Norwich North.
As you know, I was only 27 when I was lucky enough to be elected as an MP, and of my four years in Parliament so far, I have spent three as a minister.
I would welcome the opportunity to develop other ways of giving public service, both inside and outside Parliament, while continuing to work hard for my constituents.
In particular I look forward to furthering Norwich For Jobs, the community campaign I have launched to halve my city’s youth unemployment.
I also look forward to working more to communicate with a new generation of younger voters.
We spoke this summer about the worrying trend identified by the Hansard Society in its 2013 Political Audit, where only 12% of 18-24 year-olds say they are absolutely certain to vote, a decline of 10 percentage points in a year, and a decline from the 30% who said the same two years ago.
You asked me to consider what can be done. I want to take up this challenge.
Whilst I have been able to contribute to important work stewarding electoral registration as a Minister, I also want to support our party in taking the Conservative message to a new generation.
As an elected Conservative member of Parliament you have my full support as you continue to fix the economy, reward hard work and do the right thing for Britain.
DAVID CAMERON’S RESPONSE
Thank you very much for your letter informing me of your request to leave the government at the next reshuffle to concentrate on your constituency and other forms of service within the Party.
I know that this will not have been an easy decision for you to make, and one you will have given a huge amount of thought to.
After serving the government so ably for over three years, you will certainly be missed, but I completely understand and respect your decision.
In your three years as a minister you have made a positive impact in the departments you have served: As a Government Whip; in the Treasury; and, most recently, in the Cabinet Office where you have helped achieve fundamental and lasting efficiencies for the government.
I am incredibly grateful for all you have done to support the government in these roles and, in particular, to support me personally.
I know I will be able to rely on your continued support in government between now and the next reshuffle and, indeed, after that. I will follow your work furthering the Norwich For Jobs campaign with great interest.
I also appreciate your continued commitment to looking at how we can better communicate with younger people.
As you know from our previous conversations, this is a topic I take seriously and believe that there is scope for action. I would welcome your help with this outside government and look forward to receiving any recommendations you can bring forward. In this respect, please do let me or the Party Chairman know if there is anything we can do to help.
Thank you, once again, for your thoughtful letter.
Do stay in touch with my team about how we can coordinate plans but, for now, this comes with my thanks and very best wishes.