Gerry Sutcliffe, Labour MP for Bradford South, has announced that he will be standing down at the next election. Sutcliffe has been MP for the constituency since a 1994 by-election, and his decision means that there will be three Labour candidate selections in Bradford before next May.
Which are open selections and which are All Women Shortlists is likely to be something of a contentious issue over the coming months.
Sutcliffe has served a minister in the Trade and Industry, Home Office and Culture, Media and Sport departments, and was Shadow Immigration Minister between 2011 and 2012
His email to his local councillors can be read below:
I am writing to let you know that after much deliberation and discussion with my family I have decided to step down at the general election in May 2015.
It has been a privilege and an honour to represent Bradford South in Parliament for the past 20 years, but I have decided that it is the right time to step aside.
I will always be grateful for the friendship and support of local Councillors and members over the last 20 years. I am immensely proud of what we achieved together in government and in the electoral success we have had in Bradford South.
The next election offers the country the chance to rid ourselves of this damaging Tory-led coalition. In Bradford we have the opportunity to play our part in returning a Labour government by electing a new team of Labour MPs in the city. I know that you will give your full support to whoever is selected to fight the seat next May. I will certainly be playing my part and working hard to ensure that we return five Labour MPs across Bradford.
Thank you once again for your hard work, your support and your friendship.
Gerry Sutcliffe MP
Bradford South constituency