THE Gazette understands that the reason Devizes MP Claire Perry has decided not to contest her safe Conservative seat at the next election is because she wants to spend more time with new husband Bill O'Neill.

Ms Perry, who recently changed her Twitter name to Claire Perry O'Neill also took time away from her then ministerial position in the summer after a close family member had serious health problems.

It is now believed that she wants to be able to continue to do her new role as president of the UN Climate COP but have more time for family life.

In a Tweet today she made it clear that the reason for not standing again had nothing to do with Boris Johnson's Brexit negotiations.

She wrote: "I remain in full support of our PM and his brave Brexit strategy as I can see no alternative if we want to honour the Referendum result. I look forward to working closely with him in my role as President of the UN Climate COP in 2020."

Mr O'Neill is a Cambridge university professor and in recent years have split their time between her constituency home in the Pewsey Vale and Cambridge.

She confirmed today she would keep her Wiltshire house and said: "To reassure our wonderful close friends and local colleagues: we wouldn’t dream moving from the heart of the Pewsey Vale."

But her decision not to stand again means the Devizes Constituency Association along with national office will have to start the hunt for a new candidate.

Devizes constituency executive committee member Jonathan Seed, who was part of the selection committee when Ms Perry was chosen for the seat 10 years ago, said: "It is sad that she is standing down. I think she has been an outstanding constituency MP.

"The process of finding a new candidate has already started. Devizes will have the opportunity of picking from the best of the best."