Home Estate Planning MP for City of London Nickie Aiken to quit as civil servant husband scoops top UAE job

MP for City of London Nickie Aiken to quit as civil servant husband scoops top UAE job

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The Conservative MP Nickie Aiken, who represents the City of London, has announced she will stand down at the next general election.

The Tory MP has represented the Cities of London and Westminster since 2019, and was the first woman to represent the City in Parliament.

In a statement Aiken, who is also deputy chairman of the Conservative Party, wrote: “I have been privileged to represent the most diverse and vibrant part of London, with its rich culture and history.”

It comes as her husband Alex Aiken, executive director for government communications, has quit the civil service to take up a role advising on foreign affairs in the United Arab Emirates (UAE).

It has been the greatest honour to have been elected as a public servant for 18 years. However, I will not be seeking re-election.

I remain loyal to the Conservative Party and our Prime Minister, and I will continue to work hard for local people across the Two Cities. pic.twitter.com/A0AdkQgU9G

— Nickie Aiken MP for Cities of London & Westminster (@twocitiesnickie) February 7, 2024

Aiken added: “This is not a decision I have taken lightly.

“My husband, Alex, who has supported me steadfastly throughout my political career, has accepted a job offer overseas and he deserves my full support as he pursues a new career.”

She said she would remain in the UK to represent her constituency “until the general election is called” and continued to be “loyal to my party and our prime minister”.

The MP joins growing ranks of colleagues across the House of Commons in announcing their intention to stand down ahead of the next general election, which is widely expected to see the Conservatives lose power.

Aiken is the 55th Conservative MP to step down, and the 87th across Parliament as a whole.

She is also the second to announce their plans this week, following former Chancellor Kwasi Kwarteng’s revelation on Tuesday – hours ahead of Liz Truss’ launch of the ‘Popular Conservatives’ movement.

Her successor to the seat will face a range of constituency issues, from challenges for businesses across Westminster and the City, campaigns on cladding and leasehold reform, and efforts to tackle e-bikes and scooters.

Aiken has also been at the forefront of campaigns to legislate against the “scourge” of unlicensed pedicabs which blast music and bright lights, with the proposals mentioned in November’s King’s Speech.

A Cabinet Office spokesperson said: “Alex Aiken will leave the Civil Service in April to take up a new role as a communications adviser to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in the United Arab Emirates. He has worked in the Cabinet Office for the last decade, serving as Executive Director, Government Communication.

“His new role has been vetted through the Cabinet Office Business Appointment Rules process. He will abide by the standard conditions governing senior civil service external appointments.

“The process for appointing his successor will be announced in due course.”

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