Justine Greening set to quit at next election

Justine Greening, a former education secretary and pro-second referendum Conservative MP, has confirmed that she will stand down at the next election.

The Putney MP told the Radio 4 BBC Today programme: "It has been on my mind for some time, this is not an overnight decision."

Ms Greening, a former Cabinet minister, said: "I will not be standing as a Conservative candidate at the next election.

"I want to focus on making a difference on the ground on social mobility and I believe I can do that better outside Parliament than inside Parliament. We have seen Parliament gridlocked by Brexit.

"I will continue to represent my community, that heavily voted to remain, on Brexit. I have no doubt that the person following me will also represent our community on Brexit."

Ms Greening had been expected to be one of the Tory rebels to oppose Prime Minister Boris Johnson's push to keep a no-deal Brexit on the table.

"It is pretty basic – a job of an MP for me is to be Putney's voice in Parliament," said Ms Greening, who represents a Remain-voting constituency.

"That's certainly what I have sought to do and I will do that today in making sure we pass this Bill hopefully through Parliament on Wednesday.

"My concerns about the Conservative Party becoming the Brexit Party, in effect, have come to pass and my decision is that if I really want to make a difference on the ground and on social mobility, then I need to do that outside Parliament. That's what I'm prepared to do."

Mrs Greening said Conservative leader Mr Johnson was offering a "lose-lose" situation for the country if he called a general election.

She said: "I don't believe that the Conservative Party will offer people a sensible choice at the next election in respect of the fact that Boris Johnson is going to offer people a general election that faces them with the choice of a no-deal or Jeremy Corbyn.

"That is a lose-lose general election for Britain. I think a far better way of resolving a way forward on Brexit is to give the British people a direct choice on the different options for Brexit themselves rather than a messy general election which I believe all the evidence suggests will be, yet again, inconclusive on a way forward on Brexit."

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