The fierce chairman of parliament’s energy watchdog has been deselected as a candidate for re-election in the next General Election by local Tories.
Even though Tim Yeo held the support of Prime Minister David Cameron, a postal ballot of members in the South Suffolk Conservative Association yesterday went against him.
He will not be able to stand as MP for South Suffolk under a Tory banner.
Mr Yeo has had a turbulent few months, temporarily stepping down from his role as Chair of Energy and Climate Change Committee when a newspaper’s sting operation raised questions about his lobbying activity. But he was cleared of any misdeeds in November.
He was first elected in the constituency in 1983 and served in Thatcher and Major governments.
In a generous statement the MP said he is “immensely grateful” to all those Conservative Party members who voted for me to continue as their MP.
He said: “I now ask them all to campaign for my successor with the same loyalty and dedication they have shown to me.
“I will give my full and unqualified support to whoever is chosen as the candidate here in South Suffolk. I wish him or her every success.”
However the MP told media he suspected his support for gay marriage, views on climate change and membership of the EU may have been too moderate for some local Conservatives.