WANSBECK Labour MP, Denis Murphy has announced his intention to retire from Parliament at the next General Election.

Mr Murphy was first elected to the House of Commons in 1997.

In an open letter to his constituents, Mr Murphy says;

“This is a decision I have thought long and hard about for the last year.”

“There is not one main reason directing my decision, rather a number of issues combining to persuade me to move on and seek a life outside of politics.”

“I am very proud of the achievements of three terms of Labour Government. They are literally too numerous to mention. However, Sure Start, the minimum wage, huge investment in health and education, tax credits, free transport from the over 60s, winter fuel payments and the education maintenance allowance are just a few of the measures that have improved the quality of life of the people of Wansbeck.”

“I am also proud a number of personal achievements. I ran a successful parliamentary campaign to have the law changed and very much more severe penalties imposed for the offences of “causing death by dangerous driving” and “causing serious injury by dangerous driving” after the tragic death of Rebecca Sawyer. As a direct result of that campaign the Home Office added a number of very important clauses to the Criminal Justice Bill.”

Mr Murphy continued;

“[I’ll] continue to work on behalf of my constituents, right up until the General Election, to secure projects like the Morpeth Flood Alleviation scheme and to continue to press for the reintroduction of passenger rail services on the Ashington, Blyth and Tyne Line.”

“May I take this opportunity to thank you all for your help and support over many years. I am sure that the person that is selected to fight Wansbeck on behalf of the Labour Party will continue the important job of making Wansbeck one of the nicest places in the UK to live and work.”