Hove: MP Weatherley To Stand Down

Tory MP and prime ministerial adviser Mike Weatherley is to leave the Commons at next year's general election, he announced.

Mr Weatherley, the latest Conservative to quit after serving one parliament, said a successful battle with cancer had caused him to revisit his priorities.

The 57-year-old MP for Hove and Portslade has a professional background in the music and film industries and is David Cameron's adviser on intellectual property policy.

He said it had been an "exceptionally difficult decision'' not to seek re-election in 2015.

In a letter to Mr Cameron, he backed the Government and said he was proud of his own success in areas such as squatting law and animal rights.

"Over the past year, I have taken immense pride in serving as your Intellectual Property Adviser,'' he added.

"I am sure that you will agree that we have made huge steps towards really getting politicians and industry talking - which is key to making the most of our country's wealth of creative talent.

"It would be a privilege to continue offering my assistance in this regard.''

But he concluded: "Ultimately, beating cancer two years ago has led me to review what I want for the future.

"It has been the toughest decision of my life but I do feel that now is the time to move on.''

Linda Freedman, chairman of Brighton & Hove Conservatives, said: "We are all incredibly sad that Mike won't be re-standing.

"He has been a seriously effective representative for Hove and Portslade over the past four years.

"Nothing stands still in politics though so our discussions as to what happens next are already far advanced.

"We'll be making an announcement on this point shortly.''

Among Mr Weatherley's highest-profile contributions has been the sight of DJ Fatboy Slim and Guns and Roses guitarist Slash performing within the Palace of Westminster as part of his Rock the House initiative to encourage young bands and raise awareness of live music.