Mims Davies has issued a statement about her "tremendously difficult" decision to step down as the MP for Eastleigh

Earlier today she announced she will not be running in the next general election.

Now a full statement has been posted online addressed to her Eastleigh constituents about why she has decided to stand down which you can read below in full. 

The decision to step down as Eastleigh MP has been tremendously difficult for me but it is entirely a personal decision and not a political one.

I am a single parent of two wonderful girls and, over the last few years, it has been become increasingly difficult to juggle the responsibilities have I first and foremost as a mother and, secondly, as an MP and minister.

My children are based largely back in Sussex, my working week is largely in London or travelling in my role as a minister and my weekends are in Eastleigh, or more accurately, attempting to look after my daughters, their interests and also look after and support my constituents.

Sadly, it has become impossible for me to do both and, as any parent knows, if it comes down to making a decision, it is always the children who must come first.

I hope everyone will understand this conflict and understand my decision in the light of it.

I have been hugely honoured to represent the Eastleigh constituency since 2015. The friends I have made here and the warmth of the people has really been a great support for me.

I am proud to have instrumental in the greenlight for Botley bypass – something that will make a big difference to people’s lives. On top of that, I have gained so much satisfaction from helping hundreds of my constituents with their problems – that’s the crux of being an MP and it’s been a privilege and I have loved it.

On a national scale, during my time as sports minister, I tackled racism in sport and have pushed for better recognition and coverage for women’s sports.

It’s certainly been a journey and I thank everyone who has helped me and supported my family and I.

I leave Eastleigh constituency after building a 14,000 majority for the Conservatives and I want to be clear I continue to fully support PM Boris Johnson and his desire to get Brexit done. I have written to him today and expressed how disappointing leaving Eastleigh for me is personally and that it been a pleasure to serve him and our great Party in Government.

Finally, I wish all in the Eastleigh constituency and its next MP the very best. They will be very lucky to represent such a wonderful place and it’s truly full of brilliant people.