David Ruffley has announced that he is standing down as an MP at the next election. Ruffley’s decision follows the story about him being cautioned by the police following a domestic incident with his partner going from being a local story to a national one, driven in large part by the indefatigable Guido Fawkes.
Ruffley’s decision to resign has spared the Conservatives what would have been a difficult decision. On the one hand, there was the issue of domestic violence and its total unacceptability. On the other, there was the duty of care that the party owed an MP who has had some difficulties in the past few years. But the new chief whip Michael Gove has handled the issue adroitly and come up with the best possible solution to a very difficult problem.
Ruffley is a sharp analyst of politics and, in particular, the court politics of Westminster. He is also one of the most tenacious questioners on the Treasury Select Committee. But in his case, the personal has become political and there was no alternative other than for him to stand aside from the career that he loves.