British Indian climate action champion Alok Sharma to step away as MP

British Indian climate action champion Alok Sharma to step away as MP
Courtesy: Pool / Pool | Getty Images Entertainment Via Getty Images

Senior Tory Party MP and former president of the COP26 climate summit Alok Sharma has revealed plans to step away as a member of Parliament as he shared a statement to his local Conservative Association informing them of his decision to not contest the next general election.  

The 56-year-old Agra-born politician, who was knighted as Sir Alok in King Charles III’s 2023 New Year’s Honours list for his contribution to combatting climate change through his leadership at COP26, said he will continue to champion environmental causes in the House of Commons for the remainder of his term.  

Sharma said: “This has not been an easy decision for me. It has been the honour of my life to serve as the MP for a constituency in the town where I grew up and a privilege to serve in government and represent the UK on the international stage. 

“I will continue to support my Conservative colleagues and serve my constituents diligently for the remainder of my time as an MP, as well as champion in Parliament the causes I care deeply about, especially climate action.” 

Sharma's Reading West constituency has undergone a boundary change and will become Reading West & Mid Berkshire in time for the next general election, expected in 2024. 

His decision comes after over 20 years as a frontline political leader, selected as a parliamentary candidate in 2006 and then elected as Tory MP in 2010. In various roles in the Cabinet since then, Sharma has served as Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy and International Development until he was conferred a Cabinet-level role as COP26 president by former UK prime minister Boris Johnson in January 2021.  

Now on the backbenches, he most recently spoke of his concerns about the government’s delay in certain targets towards meeting the country's climate action Net Zero pledge by 2050. 


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“Chopping and changing policies creates uncertainty for businesses and the public. Ultimately this makes it more difficult to attract investment and pushes up costs for consumers,” he said last week.  

Prior to entering Parliament, the married father of two daughters qualified as a chartered accountant with Coopers & Lybrand Deloitte, and then worked for 16 years within banking, first with the Japanese firm Nikko Securities and then Enskilda Securities (the investment banking arm of SE Banken), where he held senior roles based out of London, Stockholm and Frankfurt, including serving as a member of the bank's Corporate Finance Global Management Committee. 

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