I strongly support the Prime Minister's decision to hold a general election on 8th June. I believe it is in the national interest for the government to have a renewed mandate as it begins the Brexit negotiations.
Since yesterday morning I have been talking to family and friends, as well local Conservative supporters, about whether to offer myself as the Conservative candidate in the election. I have now decided to put myself forward and will be writing to my local Conservative association to ask them to re-adopt me as their candidate.
Last week I completed my final treatment for non Hodgkin's lymphoma. Recent scans have shown that the cancer has been eradicated and doctors tell me I can expect to make a full recovery by the end of the summer. Although my current state of health will prevent me from playing an energetic part in the election campaign, I am confident that if I am re-elected I will be able to resume my duties as Member of Parliament with renewed vigour within a very few months.
Ultimately, if I am adopted as the Conservative candidate, it will be for local people to decide whether they want me to continue in the job. But I hope very much that they will give me the chance to turn the page on a testing year and re-dedicate myself to their service as their representative in Parliament.