After 18 years a North Yorkshire MP has announced that he will not submit his name for re-election.

Sir Robert Goodwill, a North Yorkshire farmer and current chairman of Commons Environment, Food and Rural Affairs Select Committee, has served as Conservative MP for Scarborough and Whitby since 2005 after winning the seat from Labour, but has now announced that he will not seek re-election at the next UK parliament.

In a letter provided to The Scarborough News, Sir Robert wrote: “Although fit and well, I am now 66-years-old and with an election expected next year another term would take me into my 70s, I have therefore decided not to submit my name for re-election.

“Too many MPs go on too long in my experience. Now is the time to let someone else younger take over.

“I will certainly not take my foot off the pedal in the time remaining and, indeed, as chair of the Commons Environment, Food and Rural Affairs Select Committee, I have my work cut out.

“We still respond to up to 500 constituents every month – sorting out problems and listening to your views as well as the regular surgeries.

“Scarborough and Whitby have come a long way since 2005 with many tangible improvements in recreational, educational and work opportunities here on the coast.

“CU Scarborough, the University Technical College, sports village, the £100m McCain facility and Woodsmith Mine to name just a few. We still have Britain’s two premier resorts although there is still work to be done to improve transport links.

He added: “I have not had a single day off since 2005 – except for weekends or holidays.

“I don't want to go on too long [so] I decided that rather than be the elder statesman I’d retire.”

The Northern Farmer: ScarboroughScarborough (Image: Dylan Connell)

Sir Robert was born in North Yorkshire and was educated in York.

He attended the University of Newcastle upon Tyne where he received a Bachelor of Science degree in agriculture.

He farms on the 250-acre family farm at Terrington, near Malton, where his family have been since 1850.

In the letter, the MP went on to say: “[There are] plenty of things to do [on the farm]. One of the steam engines needs a little attention and I’ve not been able to get to as many tractor rallies as I would like.”

Sir Robert added: “Serving as your MP has been the privilege of my life and I have been inspired by the talent, ambition and dedication of local people in so many fields. Thank you for giving me that opportunity.”

The Conservative was appointed Minister of State at the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs from March 2019 to July 2019.

He was formerly Minister of State at the Department for Education from June 2017 to January 2018.