Veteran Labour MP Margaret Hodge has announced she will not run for re-election at the next general vote, bringing to an end 27 years in her role as the representative for Barking and Dagenham.
In a video message, sent to her local Labour Party members, Ms Hodge said she had “loved the job” and that the decision to leave had been a “tough” one.
Giving a nod to her colleagues, she continued: “I wanted to thank you all for the warmth, the friendship, the support and the love you have shown me down the years.
“We have done fantastic things together.”
The 77-year-old has been Barking and Dagenham’s MP since 1994, during which time she served in several ministerial posts and enjoyed a stint as chair of the Public Accounts Committee.
Ms Hodge was elected to parliament in a 1994 by-election, when John Major was prime minister, before swiftly being appointed as the junior minister for disabled people in 1998. She was then promoted to be minister for universities in 2001, and subsequently became the first children’s minister in 2003.
From there, she held a series of ministerial positions including her role minister of state for culture and tourism, which she held from 2007 up until Labour left government following the 2010 general election..
In her video message this evening, the mother-of-four remembered some of her greatest career achievements - including what she said was not only her “biggest success” professionally but the “biggest moment in my life”: her campaign to “get rid of the BNP”.
She said she would always remember a speech when she “told them to pack their bags and go”, adding it was “still absolutely stamped on my heart as a massive moment”.
Ms Hodge, who has spoken out against the Labour Party in recent years, including clashing with ex-leader Jeremy Corbyn over complaints about antisemitism, added the party was “now very different” to when she became an MP.