Steve ByersStephen Byers MP, Labour's Member of Parliament for North Tyneside has announced his intention to step down from Parliament at the next General Election.

At the monthly meeting of the North Tyneside Labour Party held on Saturday, the former Cabinet Minister said

“I have decided to stand down as the Member of Parliament for North Tyneside at the next General Election. 

By 2010 I will have held elected positions as an M.P. and councillor for 30 years. That’s over half my life and is a long time – especially in modern politics. 

For me this is the right moment to move on in order to pursue other interests and look to fresh challenges. I am proud to have served the people of North Tyneside as their MP since 1992. I have always tried to do my best for them. They are great people and I feel very fortunate to have been given the opportunity to represent them in Parliament. 

It has been a privilege to have served as a Cabinet Minister in a Labour government. This is something I will always be grateful for. During my time as an M.P. I have always been ready to argue for the policies I believe in. I know that at times some of my ideas have not been easy for Labour Party members in North Tyneside. Despite this they have always given me their full support. I want to take this opportunity to give them my sincere thanks. 

It is clear to me that only the Labour Party has the answers to the challenges we face as a country.  In what will now be a different role I shall do all I can to support the party in the months and years ahead.”