Rail minister to quit on election day

Rail minister Huw Merriman, who represented Bexhill & Battle as its MP for nine years, will not be standing in the forthcoming election. He will leave the government on 4 July.

A lawyer by profession, he was first elected as an MP in 2015. In the 2019 election he gained a majority of 26,059, the equivalent of 63.6 per cent of the vote – compared with 62 per cent at the previous election.

As a back bencher, he chaired the Transport Select Committee between January 2020 and October 2022, when he was appointed to his first ministerial post within the Department for Transport, as Minister of State responsible for railways and HS2. He has remained in that post since then.

He said: ‘I have loved being an MP and I leave with a heavy heart.

‘The constituency is a beautiful place, with wonderful people in every town and village. And I’ve been lucky enough to work across the community, and political divide, with some fantastic people.’

He added that Rishi Sunak would always have his ‘full support’, and concluded: ‘To both the next MP for Bexhill and Battle and to a future Rail Minister – if these roles bring even half the amount of happiness as they have brought me, then it will make you very proud.’

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