Insurance Post

Evans to stand down in 2015

Jonathan Evans

Jonathan Evans, who chairs the All Party Parliamentary Group on Insurance & Financial Services, has announced that he will not be standing at the next General Election in 2015.

In a statement to his constituency party in Cardiff North last night he explained his reasons for standing down: “It is now 40 years since I was first selected at the age of 22 as a Conservative parliamentary candidate against the late Michael Foot. Twenty one years ago I was first elected to the House of Commons and I have altogether fought nine parliamentary election campaigns at Westminster and European elections since 1974.

“By the time of the next election in 2015 I will have served for two decades in the House of Commons and in the European Parliament in Brussels. I have been honoured by the support I have received from voters in Cardiff North, Brecon & Radnor and throughout Wales during the course of my political career.

“This outstanding support has given me the opportunity to serve in Parliament, in government, as Leader of the Conservatives in Europe, and as Head of the European Parliament’s relations with the United States Congress. It is a difficult decision to stand down from public life, but with the introduction of fixed term parliaments, we now know that the next Parliamentary term is likely to run until 2020, and that is a commitment which is I believe is too lengthy for me to make".

Mr Evans took over as chair of the All Party Group immediately after the 2010 election, succeeding long-time chair John Greenway who retired from the House of Commons at that election.

He has been a great supporter of the group since his time as Minister for Corporate Affairs in the mid-1990s, when he highlighted the value of a backbench group focussing on the insurance and retail financial services sector at a time when there were no other all party groups covering financial services topics, a far cry from today.

When he was in the Euroepan Parliament he continued his support for the group by hosting a visit to the Parliament and ensuring that we met all the right people, including the European Competition Commissioner at the time, Neelie Kroes.

This made him a logical choice as chairman of the group when he returned to Westminster in 2010. He did harbour outside hopes of a place in the government when he was re-elected but the creation of the Coalition and the need to accommodate the Liberal Democrats on the government front bench quickly extinguished those chances so he threw himself into re-forming the All Party Group.
I recall many people saying when John Greenway announced he was standing down that we would find it difficult to replace him and his extensive knowledge of the insurance industry. Jonathan Evans' re-election ensured that we easily overcame that problem and I am sure that the value and profile of the group is such that it will find another suitable successor after 2015.
As well as being a key member of the group he has also been a valuable supporter of Post over the years. As DTI minister he spoke at the launch of the British Insurance Awards in 1995 and at several other Post events.
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