The MP for Hertsmere has announced he is to stand down at next year’s General Election.

Holding what is considered to be one of the safest seats in the country, James Clappison will have served as a Member of Parliament for a full 23 years - having won a majority of 17,605 votes in the last election in 2010.

After discussions with his family, Mr Clappison announced his decision to stand down at the 2015 General Election in a letter to Prime Minster David Cameron.

He said: “It has been a great honour to represent the great people of Hertsmere since I entered the House in 1992. It is difficult letting go but I do feel now is the time to move on. There is a world elsewhere.

“I look forward to working with my successor to help ensure the election of a new Conservative MP in Hertsmere.”

Hertsmere Borough Council's leader Councillor Morris Bright has worked with the MP for more than 20 years.

He said: “James Clappison has been a great MP for Hertsmere. For more than 22 years he has served our residents tirelessly.

"His contribution will be missed but he leaves Hertsmere in good condition and it will be up to his successor to ensure that his work is continued.”

Mr Clappison was re-elected in 2010 after receiving 26,476 votes. His nearest challenger, Labour's Sam Russell, polled 8,871 votes.