The 71-year-old is the third Conservative MP in the Black Country and Staffordshire to announce that he will not be contesting his seat in May.
Sir Richard was elected to Aldridge-Brownhills in 1979, in the election that brought Margaret Thatcher to power, and has held the seat ever since, gaining a very strong majority of 15,256 votes in 2010.
He was knighted last year but is known as one of the Tories' most rebellious MPs - something that once saw him stripped of the Tory whip in the 1990s for his stance on the European Union.
Official figures say he has voted against his own party more than one in 10 times, slightly more than the ardent Eurosceptic Sir Bill Cash.
His decision to stand down comes just over six months before the election and leaves the Tories facing a race against time to find a replacement.