Another Labour MP has decided not to run in the general election. Iain Wright announced on Twitter on Wednesday that he does not intend to contest his Hartlepool seat in the general election in June, describing it as “good opportunity to do other things”.
The 44-year-old, who chairs the powerful business, energy and industrial strategy select committee said:
It has been an enormous privilege to serve my home town in parliament. I have now been an MP for nearly a third of my life. I would like to do other things and now is a good opportunity to do so.
The MP, who will be remembered for his patient questioning of Philip Green during the committee’s investigation into the BHS scandal, entered parliament in 2004, taking the seat in a by-election triggered when Peter Mandelson resigned the seat to become a European Commissioner.
Hartlepool, which in 2002 famously elected H’Angus the Monkey, mascot of the town’s football team, as its mayor with the slogan “free bananas for schoolchildren”, is considered a target for the UK Independence Party. The north east constituency was one of Ukip’s best finishes in 2015.
Ukip has not yet selected its candidate for the contest.
Mr Wright becomes the third Labour MP to take such a step over the past day. Arch-Corbyn critic Tom Blenkinsop, MP for Middlesbrough South and East Cleveland, says he will not run again.
Alan Johnson, the former cabinet minister, also announced on Tuesday
he will be stepping down from his Hull West and Hessle seat rather than retiring in 2022 when he will be 71.
As far as the constituency and the Party are concerned, no MP wants to put them through the anguish of a mid-term by-election, so for me the personal decision is whether to retire now or in 2022 when I’ll be into my 70s.
I’ve decided that going now will give me the opportunity to do other things with my life and is therefore in the best interests of me and my family. I also think it’s best for the Party.