Over the Border: Hertford and Stortford MP Mark Prisk set to stand down

THE MP for Hertford and Stortford has announced that he will not fight the next General Election.

Mark Prisk’s constituency borders Harlow with Sawbridgeworth, Ware and Gilston all in the constituency.

Mr Prisk shares an office in the Harlow Enterprise Hub with Robert Halfon.

In a letter to Alex Curtis, chairman of the Hertford and Stortford Conservative Association, the 57-year-old said he was not giving up his safe seat because of Brexit.

He said: “This has been a difficult decision, but I have always believed that if you seek election it must be wholehearted and that you should be committed to serve a whole five-year parliament. I cannot make that commitment.”

He said his decision to step down was “personal and is not in reaction to Brexit” but follows a tumultuous seven days for his party, with a string of defeats in Parliament for new Prime Minister Boris Johnson.

In his letter, Mr Prisk referenced the acrimony around leaving the European Union.

He said: “Now is the time for me to move on to the next phase of my life and a new career.

“I do, however, lament the wider decline in public discourse and the rise of narrow ideology over pragmatic commonsense.

“Democracy in the UK, as elsewhere, needs us to listen and think, before we speak.

“A healthy society needs us to respect others’ views and to seek out ways we can work together. Too often these values are being ignored which I deeply regret.”

Hertford and Stortford General Election result 2017

Mark Prisk (Con) – 36,184 votes, 60.3% (+ 4.2%)

Katherine Chibah (Lab) – 17,149 votes, 28.6% (+ 10.7%)

Mark Argent (Lib Dem) – 4,845 votes, 8.1% (+ 0.3%)

David Woollcombe (Green) – 1,814 votes, 3% (- 1.7%)

Majority: 19,035 (31.7%, – 6.5%)

Turnout: 59,992 (72.8%, + 1.5%)

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