Statement from Matthew:
“The next general election will mark my 28th year working in politics: as an Agent, a Political Advisor, Association Chairman, Councillor, Deputy Leader of Barnet Council, and a Member of Parliament. I am immensely proud to have been elected in four parliamentary elections, achieving more votes than any other candidate in the Hendon constituency in the past seventy years - on three separate occasions. Combined with my elections as the Hendon ward councillor, by the time of the next election I will have served Hendon for 22 years.
“The Hendon constituency is very different from many other seats. The religious diversity means that a successful representative does not pander to one demographic or another, acknowledges that faith remains important in the daily lives of many, rejects the imposition of collective views on individuals, and seeks a defence for freedoms and practices - even when it means the representative opposing their own political party. I attribute my success at repeated elections on maintaining this role. The next Member of Parliament will need to heed this doctrine. But that person will not be me.
“My elected status has required great sacrifices in my personal and professional lives, and I have concluded that the next general election is the time for me to leave the baton for someone else to take up. By stepping down at that point in time, I will be able to pursue other interests in my life.
”It has been an honour to represent the people of Hendon since 2010 and to work with the many groups and communities that make up the vibrant and diverse nature of the constituency.
"Amongst many achievements, I am proud to have initiated and steered the campaign for step-free access at Mill Hill Broadway station which will make such a difference to the lives of so many residents; to have won security funding for faith schools; to have fought successfully for protection for leaseholders affected by the cladding scandal; to have supported Free School status for Etz Chaim, one of the first free schools in the country; to have led the campaign to proscribe Hezbollah, something which was long overdue; to have worked with residents successfully to oppose major planning applications such as that for the Pentavia site and the secondary school proposed for the Broadfields estate.
"It has been a pleasure to meet and work with so many people from a variety of backgrounds and I thank all those who have supported me in my role as Member of Parliament."
Matthew has written to the Chairman of the Conservative Party, Greg Hands MP, notifying him of his decision.