Sir George Young pictured in August 2013
Local MP, Sir George Young, has announced he is to stand down from Parliament at the next general election in 2015 after being an Member of Parliament for 41 years.
Elected to Parliament in 1974, he first represented the Ealing Acton constituency until it was abolished in 1997, he was then selected to stand in North West Hampshire, winning the election by a margin of over 11,500 votes.
Announcing his decision at a Conservative Association meeting in Andover on Friday Sir George said “I have decided to retire from the House of Commons at the end of this Parliament. I have had a good innings and it is time to let others have the chance that I had back in 1974. I know there are some top quality candidates waiting in the wings to take over the baton.”
He has served under three Prime Ministers, Margaret Thatcher, against whom he famously helped lead a rebellion over the ‘poll tax’, he then served as a minister under John Major and is currently the Government Chief Whip under David Cameron after succeeding Andrew Mitchell, whose father David was also succeeded by Sir George as the MP for North West Hampshire.
Sir George continued “I enjoy my work as Chief Whip and I will continue to work hard for the Party in Parliament; and here as your local MP right up to the wire, before handing over to my successor in North West Hants as Conservative candidate.”
A number of current and former colleagues have paid tribute to Sir George who continues to be a very popular MP in the constituency.
Sir George will be hugely missed in the House, for his wise counsel, incredible experience and his unfailing good humour. He was a brilliant Leader of the House, is a superb Chief Whip, but to me above all he was a mentor and a friend. – Caroline Nokes MP
Sir George, as well as being a Government Minister, must surely be the most conscientious constituency MP around, no matter what your politics are, he is aways available to help. The Country, Andover and surrounding area have been lucky to have him as their MP. It has been a pleasure to work with him over the years he has been our representative – Cllr Ian Carr, Leader of Test Valley Borough Council
Sir George Young has been a first class Member of Parliament for our part of Hampshire, helping literally thousands of people over the years. It has been an absolute pleasure to work with him since I became a Councillor in 2007 and I have found his advice invaluable. I know he will continue to work hard for his constituents right up until the election in 2015. – Test Valley Borough Councillor Phil North
I have had the privilege of working with George since 1995 he is great constituency MP and with his wife Aurelia they are really well know couple. If his picture in some format is not in the local press the print run is reduced.I have seen play acting with local children which come naturally to him as he is grandfather, to slaying the dragon, to opening so many homes, pubs, shops and endless events, his wry grin is often featured. His sense of humour is not always evident to the general public but he has a very dry wit and can some times come out with a comment which is so unexpected we all fall about with hoots of laughter. He is caring and tries to do his best we do not always see eye to eye and have robust debates but he respects my point of view and I his, albeit we do agree to disagree but whatever the outcome we still remain good friends and I have the utmost respect and proud to have worked with him, I call him my running mate, when he takes three steps with his long legs, I have to run hard to keep up with him, some thing to do with the fact when he is seated and I’m standing up we are at eye level me being mere five foot two. George will be missed but he has earned his spurs and and respect and deserves now to go onto to spend time with family and friends they broke the mould with him as his mantra says:We are keeping Young !! so may he forever be Young but go onto the have well deserved relaxing retirement. Thank you George and Aurelia it has been fun and humbling experience working with you both – Hampshire County Councillor Pat West
I listened with much sadness to the announcement Sir George Young made at the Conservative meeting on Friday evening in the Guildhall, Andover. Sir George has been an excellent Member of Parliament who has served his constituents tirelessly and to the very best of his considerable ability. This has clearly been recognised as his majority kept on increasing election after election But for the surprise election of John Bercow to the position, who incidentally was one of the candidates Sir George saw off in the selection process to become our MP in 1996, I am certain that he would have become Speaker of the House of Commons.
It would be an omission to not mention George’s wife Aurelia who has supported him throughout. They came very much as a team and this has always been the way he worked. Councillors who helped out at his regular surgeries in Andover and across the constituency will know that his substantial knowledge and reassuring style will be very much missed.I would finally like to thank him for the kindness and support he has given to me over these past seventeen years – Andover Town Councillor David Drew
I have worked with Sir George, supporting his Surgery’s, over the last 5 years and I have seen first hand Sir George’s very strong work ethic and his compassion and willingness to help people no matter how complicated the problem. I believe that he will be sorely missed by his Constituents and his retirement makes the end of a remarkable career. – Hampshire County Councillor Andrew Gibson
If you have worked with or know Sir George Young and would like to add your comments, please email firstname.lastname@example.org