This is the full statement published by new Liverpool metro mayor Steve Rotheram as he said he would stand down from his Walton seat in the Commons.
In 2010 – beyond my wildest dreams – as I was elected to represent the Liverpool Walton constituency and was delighted to improve my majority in the 2015 general election.
I have always given 100 per cent to the task of representing the area I both live and feel honoured to represent. It has been the privilege of my life to speak up for the people of Walton in Parliament.
Over the last few weeks, since the announcement of the snap general election, I have spoken with numerous people to try to ensure that they understand the depth of feeling that a local candidate should be chosen to succeed me – just as my predecessor did when I was selected in 2010.
I believe that the failure of the Labour Party to allow local representation on the panels to select candidates is a significant misjudgement.
I have tried my utmost to convince the powers that be that the most acceptable solution would be a local representative on the ballot paper to succeed me as the next Member of Parliament for Liverpool Walton, given that there are potentially some high calibre candidates of which to select. Hopefully that may still be the outcome because I have today informed the general secretary of the Labour Party that I will not be contesting the general election on June 8 2017 as I need to concentrate my full attention on the job at hand as the first ever metro mayor of the Liverpool City Region.
I would like to take this opportunity to thank the Constituency Labour Party chair and executive for their support over the last seven years and my constituents for the confidence they have shown in me as their voice in Westminster.
I wish my successor, whoever that may be, the very best in the forthcoming contest.