He said: “I had already decided some time ago that had I been re-elected in 2015 this would have been my last parliament and I would have been seeking new ways to contribute in the areas I care most about outside of Parliament.
“Over the past five months I have worked hard to set in place the beginnings of a number of roles in health and social care that I have always cared so much about. At the start of October I joined City University as a part time Professor of Health and Social Care. From 1st November I started as Chair of the Tavistock and Portman NHS Foundation Trust in north London.”
Paul Burstow continued: “I count myself very fortunate that before and since my selection in 1989 I have always enjoyed the friendship and support of so many local members. I said at the Count in May that it has been an honour and privilege to have served as the Member of Parliament for Sutton and Cheam for 18 years. But now it is time for a new candidate.”
He said he would do all he could to support the local party as it embarked on that process and would want to do all he could to help his successor win in 2020.
John Drage paid tribute to the former Lib Dem MP.
He said: “Paul has been one of the hardest-working MPs in Parliament and that was recognised in an independent Evening Standard study during his term.
“As a Health Minister in the coalition government he was able to set in motion major improvements in the care of older people and mental health. It is great news that his knowledge and expertise in these areas will be harnessed by the new leadership roles he is taking up.”
Sutton Liberal Democrats are currently discussing the procedures for choosing a new prospective candidate to represent the constituency which covers Sutton, Cheam and Worcester Park.