Michael Howard announces resignation in Putney

whilst congratulating Putney's new Tory MP

Results of the 2005 Election
Candidate Party 2005
Justine Greening Conservative
Tony Colman Labour
Jeremy Ambache Liberal Democrat
Keith Magnum Green Party
Anthony Gahan UK Independence

Related items:

Contact details for the local party offices

Tony Colman's web site
Justine Greening's web page

Liberal Democrats web site

Putney get UKIP candidate

UKIP Wandsworth web page

Putney turns Blue


Justine GreeningMichael Howard has stunned Conservatives by announcing that he intends to stand down as party leader "sooner rather than later".

Whilst visting Putney he said:

"I came here to Putney on that day to a constituency I said we had to win. Last night we did, thanks to the efforts of Justine and her fantastic team."

Michael HowardPutney was where he made his first speech as party leader exactly 18 months ago to the day, he stood alongside the constituency's victorious new MP Justine Greening, and declared: "I am 63 years old. At the time of the next election in four or five years time I will be 67 or 68, and I believe that's simply too old to lead a party into government."

Stressing his determination to do what is best for party, and above all country, Mr Howard said: "As I can't fight the next election as leader of our party, I believe it's better for me to stand aside sooner rather than later so that the party can choose someone who can. I want to avoid the uncertainty of prolonged debate about the leadership of the party."

And he added: "I want the next Conservative leader to have much more time than I had to prepare our party for government. If we achieved this much in just 18 months imagine what can be achieved in the next four or five years."

However, Mr Howard stressed that he will remain in charge until the party has decided whether to change the rules for electing a new leader - a process which could take months to complete.

May 6, 2005