Former Minister (and Dame) Joan Ruddock has become the latest MP to announce that she plans to step down at the next General Election. The Lewisham Deptford MP told the local press:
“The early announcement is because I want the constituency party to have the longest possible time in which to find a successor. I just think that it will be time for a new person to take over. It’s always important to have new and fresh ideas, commitment and energy. It will be the right time for me to think about a slightly different pace of life.”
Ed Miliband responded to Ruddock’s decision by praising her “formidable campaigning skills”:
“Parliament will really miss her wise words, her formidable campaigning skills and her huge knowledge across a wide range of areas, especially equality issues. Joan has been a passionate advocate for the Labour Party over many years and I know she will continue to care deeply about the people of Lewisham Deptford. I personally will miss Joan’s good humour and friendship from the Labour benches.”
There is no news at this early stage on the selection timetable, but Lewisham Councillor Vicky Foxcroft and Lambeth Councillor Florence Nosegbe are both said to be considering putting themselves forward.