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Armed forces minister James Heappey to stand down at general election

Armed forces minister James Heappey will stand down at the next general election, joining an exodus of Tory MPs.

The MP for the Wells constituency in Somerset will continue with his government position until Rishi Sunak wishes him to step back – likely during the Easter recess, a source close to him told Sky News.

The reasons for his decision are personal and not linked to a row over defence spending, they added.

In a letter to his local association, posted by Mr Heappey on X, he said he had concluded that it was time to “prioritise my family and pursue a different career”.

“After much reflection, I am afraid I have taken the painful decision not to stand as a candidate in the forthcoming General Election,” he said.

“A great deal has changed in my life over the last few years and I have concluded that now is the time to step away from politics, prioritise my family, and pursue a different career.”

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