I’ve today informed my Constituency Labour Party that I’ll not be seeking reselection as Labour’s Parliamentary Candidate for Sheffield Central in the next General Election.
It’s been an extraordinary privilege to represent the city that’s been home for most of my life since arriving here at the age of nine. I’m deeply grateful for the support I’ve had from constituents and for the opportunity to work with so many brilliant individuals and groups across the city.
I’m also grateful to all those Labour members who’ve campaigned with me in four general elections and supported me in hearing from constituents through initiatives such as my annual Big Conversation.
I also want to thank my staff, past and present, who have supported me in Westminster and Sheffield and helped to make a real difference to the lives of so many people who have turned to us – a side of politics that’s often forgotten.
It’s been a difficult decision, but I’ll be 70 next year and for me the next election feels the right time to step down.
Labour will remain an important part of my life, as it has done for five decades, and I look forward to campaigning with whoever is chosen as our new candidate in Sheffield Central.
Until then, with the next election possibly more than two years away, I’ll be working as hard as ever for the constituency, the city and the values that first drew me into politics.