COLCHESTER MP Will Quince has announced he will be standing down at the next general election.

Mr Quince said he made the decision so he could spend more time being a father to his two young children.

He said: “This has not been an easy decision as it has been the honour of my life to serve as Colchester's Member of Parliament and a privilege to represent its people.

“However, being a Member of Parliament and minister of state at the Department of Health and Social Care is all consuming and I know the impact it has had on my young family.

Gazette: Decision - Will Quince in Charter Hall during May's local electionsDecision - Will Quince in Charter Hall during May's local elections (Image: Newsquest)

“I have always given my all in every job I have had but I am acutely aware that I am neglecting the most important job I have, being a good dad to two young girls.”

Mr Quince succeeded the incumbent Lib Dem MP Sir Bob Russell at the 2015 general election following a failed attempt in 2010.

The Conservative politician secured in excess of 5,000 votes more than Sir Bob and then extended his majority in the 2017 and 2019 elections.

He said he has informed Prime Minister Rishi Sunak and Colchester’s Conservative group of his decision.

Gazette: Royal visit - King Charles meets Will Quince in Colchester Royal visit - King Charles meets Will Quince in Colchester (Image: Newsquest)

“My decision is driven by my desire to put my family and daughters first as they grow up. I am incredibly proud of what my team and I have achieved and delivered for Colchester,” he continued.

During the MP’s tenure he has overseen securing more than £40 million of Government funding to regenerate Colchester.

He also joined calls for Colchester to be crowned a city and was part of the entourage welcoming King Charles in March.

But controversy loomed when Mr Quince resigned from his role as Minister for Children and Families last July.

Gazette: Heritage - Will Quince during a trip to JumboHeritage - Will Quince during a trip to Jumbo (Image: North Essex Heritage)

The MP had stood firm in his support of Boris Johnson but resigned after being given an “inaccurate” briefing when partaking in television interviews defending the then Prime Minister over his appointment of Chris Pincher as Government Deputy Chief Whip.

He added: “It goes without saying that I will continue to serve my constituents and fulfil my duties diligently until the next general election. 

"I have not yet decided what the future holds for me but plan to explore opportunities that allow me to continue to support the charities and causes I care passionately about.”