Another Suffolk MP has announced she will not be standing at this year's General Election.

Jo Churchill has been MP for Bury St Edmunds since 2015 and is currently an Employment Minister.

She has now written to the Prime Minister and her local Conservative Association to say she will not be standing this time for family reasons.

In her letter, published on X (formerly Twitter) she said she remained loyal to the Prime Minister.

She said: "Prime Minister, I have the utmost respect for what you do in protecting us and assure you of my constant support until the next election.

"I will continue to work for my constituents in Bury St Edmunds and Stowmarket serving their needs and championing this wonderful part of Suffolk."

Mrs Churchill, whose family comes from south Lincolnshire, was chosen to stand for Bury St Edmunds in 2015 after the previous MP David Ruffley stood down.

The seat is being changed at the election - it is losing Needham Market and some villages near Stowmarket - but it is essentially remaining the same.

The association will now have to find a new candidate fast - it is the second Suffolk Conservative group looking for a new candidate after Dr Dan Poulter's defection to Labour at the end of last month.

East Anglian Daily Times: Dan Poulter crossed the floor to join Labour last month.Dan Poulter crossed the floor to join Labour last month. (Image: PA)

Bury St Edmunds is seen as a safe Conservative seat, but Labour did come close to winning there in 1997.

Her decision will mean there are at least four new MPs for Suffolk after the election - and possibly more if any seats change hands.

East Anglian Daily Times: Matt Hancock announced he would stand down from the House of Commons last year.Matt Hancock announced he would stand down from the House of Commons last year. (Image: Newsquest)

Matt Hancock is standing down from West Suffolk and Dr Poulter is returning to full-time medical practice. 

The new Waveney Valley seat crosses the Suffolk/Norfolk border bringing together towns like Diss, Eye, Bungay and Harleston.

On paper all the seats that are going to return a new MP look like safe Conservative territory - but looking back to 1997 Labour believes it may have a chance in some.

And the Green Party has Waveney Valley on its list of top four target seats in the country.

Its co-leader Adrian Ramsay is the candidate there and it hopes that its success in local elections in the area could spark an electoral breakthrough.

Mrs Churchill was one of three senior Conservatives to announce she is standing down from Parliament on Thursday.

Deputy Speaker Dame Eleanor Laing will not be seeking re-election in Epping Forest and Transport Minister Huw Merriman is stepping down at the East Sussex seat of Bexhill and Battle.

There is limited time for political parties to select candidates before the election. Candidates have to be nominated by Friday June 7 to get on to the ballot paper.

Party officials will be helping the Conservative Associations in Bury St Edmunds and Central Suffolk and North Ipswich to select candidates quickly.

However as relatively safe seats, they are likely to look attractive to many potential candidates.