Suffolk: MP Dr Dan Poulter unsurprised by Mensch’s resignation

HIGH-profile MP Louise Mensch’s decision to quit the House of Commons did not surprise the Suffolk MP whose office is almost next to hers at Westminster.

And Central Suffolk and North Ipswich MP Dr Dan Poulter warned that other new MPs could follow her lead by standing down at the next election.

Dr Poulter said: “I don’t think Louise has many close friends in parliament, but I would see her to speak to her two or three times a week and it’s been clear she has not been happy for the last six months.”

Mrs Mensch announced yesterday that she would resigning as MP for the marginal Corby seat to move to New York where her husband lives – he is manager of the rock group Metallica.

Dr Poulter said: “A lot of new MPs have found life at Westminster quite difficult. 30 years ago there was an expectation that MPs would live in London and only visit their constituencies every two or three months.

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“Now we are expected to split our lives between London and the constituency. That is something most of us enjoy – but it does force you into splitting your life somewhat.”

He knew of several newly-elected MPs who were reconsidering their futures. He said: “There are no MPs from this region that I know of in that position, but I have spoken to others – both Conservatives and Labour members – who are seriously considering standing down at the next election.”

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He said the long hours at the House of Commons – some days the work extended from 9am to 11pm – made life very difficult for MPs with young families.

He said: “As a doctor I’m used to those kind of hours, but I know it has come as a shock to the system for many of my colleagues and they are asking whether it is worth putting their families through this.”

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