EAST Midlands Conservative MEP Roger Helmer is to resign from his seat in the European Parliament.
On Wednesday he announced his intention to down from December 31 after 12-and-a-half years service.
In an open letter to the European Parliament he said: “I understand that under our electoral rules, my place will be taken by the next-in-line from our 2009 East Midlands Conservative MEP candidate list.
“This will be my friend and colleague Rupert Matthews, in whom I have great confidence. I commend him to you and to the parliament, and I am sure that he will become a distinguished member of this house.”
Commenting on Mr Helmer’s decision, fellow Conservative MEP, Emma McClarkin said: “Roger has been a colourful character in East Midlands Politics.
“Over his 12 years’ service as a Conservative Member of the European Parliament he has represented the East Midlands and its constituents with great passion.
“He has been a vociferous defender of the UK in Brussels and extremely active in the region supporting businesses, farming communities as well as numerous local campaigns with great vigour. I wish him well and hope he enjoys his well-deserved retirement.”