Former foreign affairs minister Peter MacKay says he won’t run for the Conservative Party leadership.

In a lengthy statement, MacKay says he consulted widely before making his decision.

“I choose not to run at this time for some of the same reasons I stated when I chose not to seek re-election last year. My family is my number one priority. The love and support of my wife, Nazanin, has been unwavering and we are blessed with two, healthy, vibrant children; Kian, aged 3, and Valentia, 11 months, who need our full attention at this tender age,” he said in the statement.

“While the opportunity is exciting and the reward compelling, I feel it would be asking too much of them to jump back into politics right now and the heat of a leadership campaign with all that it entails.”

MacKay was one of the higher profile contenders to consider running for the leadership. Conservative finance critic Lisa Raitt has also said she’s considering a leadership bid.

The former MP, who also served as justice minister and defence minister over his 18 years in office, says he consulted broadly and met with many people who encouraged him to run.

"I felt that I owed it to the many supporters, and frankly to myself, to take the time over the summer to consider this path," he said in the statement.

"Politics is a serious profession and a calling of the highest order. It requires tremendous commitment and effort, particularly in the role of leader."

MacKay notes in the statement that he ran successfully for the party leadership in 2003, when he became the leader of the federal Progressive Conservatives for several months before merging the party with the Stephen Harper-led Canadian Alliance.