Tom Levitt last night sent the following statement by email to Labour Party members in the High Peak:
“Next year I will have completed 27 years in public life, 13 of which have been as the Member of Parliament for High Peak. On April 21, I will become High Peak’s longest serving MP since the Second World War. It has been a huge privilege to represent the constituency in the House of Commons and I have enjoyed every minute of it, but it is time for me to move on.
“I have informed the Labour Party that I shall not be a candidate at the next general election. After the current Parliament I would like to spend more time with my wife, our children and grandchildren. I would also like to do something different in the work environment. Between now and the election I will work as hard as ever, both to support my constituents and help secure a fourth term for Labour in government.
“The last six months have been torrid. Rightly, MPs have suffered collective as well as individual criticism for the scandalous mess of parliamentary allowances. Steps are now being taken to stop MPs deciding on our own expenses, pay and conditions ever again. This is the right thing to do. We need to demonstrate that a line has been drawn. New levels of transparency, compliance and enforcement can restore confidence in Parliament and the democratic system.
“I am proud to serve the people of High Peak in Parliament and I have done my best to be diligent on behalf of constituents. I have also been committed to legislation which, I believe, has improved life for ordinary people in High Peak and elsewhere. There is still much which needs to be done and I will continue to work for the people of High Peak until this Parliament is dissolved.
“I thank so many people in communities across High Peak for their support, indulgence and friendship over 20 years. This group extends beyond my natural political allies. My proudest memories will be the acquisition of the Devonshire Royal site for the University of Derby and the central role of High Peak in the pursuit of the historic right to roam.”More details / comment later