A South Gloucestershire MP announced their resignation over the weekend in protest of the government's energy plans, triggering a by-election.

Former energy minister Chris Skidmore - who represents Kingswood - said he will resign the Conservative whip and stand down as an MP. 

In a lengthy statement posted on social media on Friday, he said he was against the Government’s proposed legislation - the Offshore Petroleum Licensing Bill - allowing new oil and gas licences.

He said: “It is a Bill that I have already stated my opposition to, by not voting in the King’s Speech debate in protest at the Bill’s inclusion in the Government’s legislative programme.

“As the former energy minister who signed the UK’s net zero commitment by 2050 into law, I cannot vote for a Bill that clearly promotes the production of new oil and gas.”

He went on: “To fail to act, rather than merely speak out, is to tolerate a status quo that cannot be sustained. 

“I am therefore resigning my party whip and instead intend to be free from any party-political allegiance.”

The MP added that his decision to resign the whip meant his constituents “deserve the right to elect a new Member of Parliament”.

Gazette Series: Kingswood MP Chris Skidmore has said he will resign as soon as possible - photo by Chris McAndrew/UK Parliament/PA WireKingswood MP Chris Skidmore has said he will resign as soon as possible - photo by Chris McAndrew/UK Parliament/PA Wire (Image: Chris McAndrew/UK Parliament/PA Wire)

He said: “I therefore will be standing down from Parliament as soon as possible.”

It is understood Mr Skidmore will officially resign as an MP this week when Parliament returns.

Mr Skidmore has held Kingswood since 2010, beating second-placed Labour by 11,220 votes at the last general election.

With his Kingswood constituency being abolished under the boundary review, Mr Skidmore had already announced his intention to stand down at the next election. 

Following the 2023 constituency boundaries review, Kingswood is planned to be split up between three seats: North East Somerset and Hanham, Bristol North East, and Filton and Bradley Stoke.

The new boundaries will not impact the by-election, but any MP elected will have to move seats if they wish to stand in the next election.