Former Prime Minister Theresa May will step down as an MP at the next general election after 27 years in Parliament.

The 67-year-old was the leader of the Conservative Party from 2016 to 2019 and previously served as Home Secretary from 2010 to 2016.

Mrs May revealed her decision to stand down as MP for Maidenhead on Friday (March 8), saying she would focus on championing causes including the fight against modern slavery.

In a statement to her local newspaper, the Maidenhead Advertiser, she said: “Since stepping down as prime minister I have enjoyed being a backbencher again and having more time to work for my constituents and champion causes close to my heart including most recently launching a Global Commission on Modern Slavery and Human Trafficking.

“These causes have been taking an increasing amount of my time.

“Because of this, after much careful thought and consideration, I have realised that, looking ahead, I would no longer be able to do my job as an MP in the way I believe is right and my constituents deserve.”

Mrs May said it had been “an honour and a privilege” to serve as Maidenhead’s MP and vowed to continue working for her constituents until the general election, which is expected in the second half of this year.

In her statement, she added: “As I pass the baton on I will be working with my successor to secure a Conservative victory in Maidenhead. I remain committed to supporting Rishi Sunak and the Government and believe that the Conservatives can win the election.

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“I would like to thank all those who chose me to represent them as their Member of Parliament.”

Mrs May entered the doors of Downing Street after David Cameron resigned when the country voted to leave the European Union, which he had campaigned against.

But the Maidenhead MP since 1997 who was also a “Remainer”, left her job as Prime Minister three years later after a snap election in 2017 because she was unable to get her Brexit deal through parliament.

Since being elected MP for Maidenhead, Mrs May went on to hold several shadow positions, according to GOV.UK, including:

  • Shadow Secretary of State for Education and Employment (1999 to 2001)
  • Shadow Secretary of State for Transport, Local Government and the Regions (2001 to 2002)
  • Shadow Secretary of State for the Family (2004 to 2005)
  • Shadow Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport (2005)
  • Shadow Leader of the House of Commons (2005 to 2009)
  • Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for Women and Equalities (2010 to 2012)

Outside of her political career, the website adds: “After starting her career at the Bank of England, Theresa went on to the Association for Payment Clearing Services, firstly as Head of the European affairs unit from 1989 to 1996 and then as Senior Adviser on international affairs from 1996 to 1997.”