Last night I attended a reception at Number 10 and had a brief chat with David Cameron. He said he hoped I would try for a seat at the next election. I explained that that wouldn't be happening and that I had made a decision well before the last election not to try again if I didn't get a seat then.
I also said that I felt that at 52 (which I will be if this parliament lasts five years) it was unlikely that I would be selected anyway. I've made my views known before about the virtues of selecting older candidates, with real life experience, but politics in this country is becoming youth obsessed and I doubt whether I would be able to stem that particular tide. Of course older candidates do get selected, but they are very much the exception rather than the rule - exactly the opposite of how it should be.
Anyway, there are things I'd rather do over the next few years rather than flog what I consider to be a dead horse. I've always wanted to be a parliamentarian, but I'm not obsessive about it - perhaps that is where I have gone wrong!
So, to formally bring this part of my life to an end I have written to Sayeeda Warsi, the new chairman of the party, to ask her to remove my name from the party's list of approved candidates.
I will, of course, continue to help the party in a voluntary capacity in any way I can, and as much as my business and media activities allow!
I feel strangely liberated...