Suffolk MP announces retirement

SIR Michael Lord, who has been a Suffolk MP for 26 years, has announced he will retire at the next General Election.

Brad Jones

SIR Michael Lord, who has been a Suffolk MP for 26 years, has announced he will retire at the next General Election.

The 70-year-old revealed the news yesterday, saying he wanted to give time for his successor to be selected.

Sir Michael won the newly formed Central Suffolk constituency in 1983 and following boundary changes was elected to the new constituency of Central Suffolk and North Ipswich in 1997. At the 2005 General Election he had a majority of 7,856.

He is also a Deputy Speaker in the House of Commons, a position he has held since 1997.

Sir Michael said: “I have thoroughly enjoyed my time as a Member of Parliament and considered it a huge privilege and honour to have served the people in Suffolk.

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“I will be sad to retire but feel that now is the right time to make the announcement to allow my successor to be selected and become known to the constituents of Central Suffolk & North Ipswich.

“When I leave the House of Commons I will particularly miss my constituency work which I have always found extremely rewarding and which has enabled me to help thousands of my constituents over the years.

“Finally, I would like to offer my sincere thanks and gratitude to my Conservative Association, officers, Staff and members who have supported me so steadfastly throughout my years as their Member of Parliament.”

Sir Michael was knighted in 2001 for services to parliament, and before entering the Commons he was a lecturer on ancient and historic trees, as well as a farmer.

During the expenses row he was criticised for some gardening expenses at his second home which included more than �1,500 for work on trees, but he defended the costs as entirely legitimate.

He was later eliminated in the first round of the ballot for the Speakership.