Newcastle-under-Lyme MP Paul Farrelly 'to stand down at next election'

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Labour Party

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Paul Farrelly first became an MP in 2001

The Labour MP for Newcastle-under-Lyme Paul Farrelly says he will not stand at the next election.

Mr Farrelly, 57, has held the seat for 18 years – currently with a majority of 30 – and said it would not be fair on his young family to carry on.

In a statement, he said he was making his intentions clear as the Labour Party started candidate reselections.

Mr Farrelly, who opposes Brexit, said he would not vote for a snap general election before 31 October.

He said he believed “that plays into the hands of our chaotic new Prime Minister”.

Reflecting on his career, he said was proud to have played his part in “getting important things done” in Newcastle and North Staffordshire and cited improvements to healthcare, education and a regeneration of coalfields.

“With a majority of just 30, Newcastle may still be the most marginal West Midlands seat, but – at 21,124 – in 2017 the Labour vote in Newcastle was the biggest in my five elections,” he added.

But he said he would be aged 60 if the current Parliament were to run its course, seeing him serve for more than 20 years.

“I also still have a young family to support, and it would not be fair on them, really, to carry on beyond the next election, with all the stresses and strains that go with the job of being a dutiful member of parliament.

“So I have promised them, too, that 2017 was my last election.”