Rail minister Huw Merriman MP to step down

Rail minister Huw Merriman MP is set to step down from his position after announcing he will not stand as a candidate in the general election on July 4.

Merriman, who represents Bexhill and Battle for the Conservatives, was appointed minister of state for rail and HS2 in October 2022 following his time as chair of the Commons’ transport select committee.

He said he had “loved” his tenure as rail minister, adding: “To both the next MP for Bexhill and Battle and to a future rail minister: if these roles bring even half the amount of happiness they have brought me, then it will make you very proud.”

When Merriman was appointed as a minister in the Department for Transport, support was voiced by industry bodies including Aito. He was described by Aito chair Chris Rowles as someone who “simply ‘gets’ travel”.

In a statement announcing he would be stepping down, Merriman wrote: “After nine years as the Member of Parliament for Bexhill and Battle, I have made the decision not to stand as a candidate at the next election. This means I will also leave my job as rail minister on July 4.

“I have loved being an MP and I leave with a heavy heart. The constituency is a beautiful place, with wonderful people in every town and village. I’ve been lucky enough to work across the community, and political divide, with some fantastic people. I’ve also been fortunate to have had the best constituency staff, and Association, an MP could ask for.

“Transport has been my passion throughout my time in Parliament. I am grateful to have served for seven years on the transport select committee, with almost three as chair.

“I’ve loved my time as rail minister and am grateful to the prime minister for trusting me with this important portfolio. He will always have my full support. In each of these roles, I’ve seen the best of our amazing transport industry and community; from private and public sector, ministerial colleagues, and the civil service.

“I wish my successor well in their role as Member of Parliament. To both the next MP for Bexhill and Battle and to a future rail minister: if these roles bring even half the amount of happiness as they have brought me, then it will make you very proud.

“Thank you to all of the amazing people I have met on my journey. I will miss everything but, as I sit in the political departure lounge, I am looking forward to a new journey (whatever that might be).”

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