Charlie Smith (pictured) will remain as a Bedfordshire FSB member and advocate but has decided to concentrate on his new political career.
“Although the FSB seeks to influence politics, its official positions are non-party political and we try to keep our own views as a private matter, so it is only right that I step down,” said Mr Smith.
“Over the years of campaigning to seek change for businesses, I came to realise that there is only one way to do that, and for the wider population, from within the political system itself. Politics dictates our lives.”
Regional vice chairmen Damian Cummins and Malcolm Lyons will take over the chairman’s responsibliites ahead of the FSB regional elections in the autumn.
Mr Smith, a business consultant, has been a FSB member for more than 21 years. "There is some sadness for me in leaving the regional chairman’s position, which I have enjoyed immensely, but the role is in capable hands,” he said.
Vice chairman Mr Cummins said: “Charlie has been a great servant of the FSB over the years and we all appreciate the work he has done.”