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Woking’s Conservative MP Humfrey Malins – that’s Humfrey with an F – has announced he is standing down at the next election, after serving as the town’s MP since 1997. On the liberal left of the party, he resigned from the Conservative front bench in 2003 over the invasion of Iraq. A lawyer who is seen as a decent, conscientious constituency MP – he was recently involved, above, in the fights by West Byfleet residents to stop a back-gardens development and by residents in Rydens Way, Old Woking, to stop housing on a green area –  he founded the Immigration Advisory Service in 1993, a charitable organisation providing free legal advice on immigration and asylum issues, and in 1997 was made a CBE  for services to immigration policy. On the ConservativeHome website various reasons are advanced for his decision to quit, from expectations of a peerage, to a desire to cultivate his law firm, to fears of shock Lib Dem win in Woking – the last theory almost certainly advanced by a very hopeful Lib Dem activist. In truth, Woking is a traditionally safe Tory seat, majority 6,612 at the last election, and is likely to remain that way, unless the Conservatives pick a clown as their candidate.

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