The Conservative MP for St Austell and Newquay informed the Prime Minister on Monday night that he would be “leaving government.”

Steve Double stated it was a personal decision that is “right for me, my family and constituents”.

In a letter to the Prime Minister Rishi Sunak, Mr Double wrote: “As your reshuffle of government is under way, I wanted to take this opportunity to confirm in writing the decision I informed the Chief Whip of back in September, at the end of the summer recess.

“That is that I have decided it is time for me to leave government and return to the backbenches.

“It has been a huge honour to serve as a member of government under your leadership and previously Boris Johnson’s. From being the Parliamentary Private Secretary to the Health Secretary throughout the COVID pandemic, an Assistant Whip through 2021/22, a Minister in DEFRA and most recently a Lords Commissioner in your Whips Office, I have witnessed, close up, some of the most challenging and turbulent times any government has faced.

“I have always given my best to be a supportive and constructive part of government and have thoroughly enjoyed the past few years.

“However, I believe it is now time for me to return to the back benches.

“This is very much a personal decision based on what it right for me, as well as my family and constituents.

“I remain committed to supporting you and your government as we work towards the general election next year.

“I look forward to doing this from the back benches and of course speaking up for and representing the people of Mid-Cornwall, which as always is my priority.”