Herstmonceux and Heathfield MP Greg Barker has stood down as climate minister and will not seek re-election as MP for the Bexhill and Battle constituency.
The MP. who was elected to the constituency post in 2001, has quit as Minister of State for Energy and Climate Change and has also decided not to stand for MP at the next general election.
The announcement came as Prime Minister David Cameron undertook a reshuffle of his cabinet on Tuesday (July 15).
In a letter sent to Mr Cameron, Mr Barker said: “I now feel for me personally, it is the right time to take up new challenges outside Parliament. It has been an honour to serve the people of Bexhill and Battle since 2001 and I have developed a huge affection for my consituency. However I have informed my wonderful local party that I will be stepping down at the General Election next year and therefore it would also seem the right time to now step down as minister.”
Writing on his Twitter account on Tuesday Mr Barker said: “It has been a huge honour to serve in pioneering 1st Cameron govt and great privilege to represent Bexhill and Battle.”
He added: “As we all know, Twitter can be a cruel mistress at times but have been really moved and surprised by so many lovely messages.”
The 48-year-old was appointed as shadow environment minister in December 2005 and accompanied David Cameron to the Arctic in March 2006 to highlight the dangers of global warming. Mr Barker was involved with the Climate Change Act in 2008 and was promoted by Mr Cameron to shadow climate minister of state for climate change. After the General Election in 2010 he was appointed as Minister of State for Climate Change. The cabinet underwent a reshuffle in 2012. But Mr Barker remained minister of state at the Department of Energy and Climate Change.
Before entering into politics Mr Barker was Associate Partner of Brunswick Group Ltd before being appointed head of International Investor Relations for Sibneft, a Russian oil company.