Friday, 19 February 2010
James Purnell to stand down as MP
Former cabinet minister James Purnell has announced he will leave Parliament at the general election.
The MP Stalybridge and Hyde, Greater Manchester, said it was a "difficult decision", but he did not want to spend "all my life in frontline politics".
Mr Purnell, who has been an MP since 2001, is also leading a project on the future of the Left for the think-tank Demos.
In a statement, the 39-year-old said: "I have been proud to represent the people of Stalybridge and Hyde. And this has been an extremely difficult decision to make. But I have decided that I no longer wish to be an MP.
Peter Robinson, chairman of the Stalybridge and Hyde Constituency Labour Party, said: "Over the past nine years James has been an outstanding Member of Parliament, who has been instrumental in bringing many benefits to the people of Stalybridge and Hyde...
"We understand completely the reasons for James' resignation and we wish him every success in the future.
"His commitment and determination have been greatly valued by members of the local Labour Party, as well as in the wider constituency.
"He has achieved a great deal and he will be a hard act to follow."
Mr Purnell was a researcher for Mr Blair from 1992 to 1994 and worked as head of corporate planning at the BBC from 1995 to 1997.
The general election is expected to take place on 6 May. BBC News
Does this mean Kieran Quinn can at last get an opportunity to stand for parliament in what is still possibly a winnable seat? Tameside Citizen