1. ITV Report

Workington MP to step down at next election

Sir Tony Cunningham has been Workington's MP since 2001 Photo: John Stillwell/PA Archive/Press Association Images

The Workington MP Sir Tony Cunningham has decided to stand down at the next election after thirteen years in parliament.

Sir Tony told ITV Border on Thursday that he wanted to spend more time with his family, and has spent the week announcing his decision to local party members before making it public on Friday.

The Labour MP was born in Workington before becoming a teacher and later mayor of his town.

After his election to Westminster in 2001, he served as a whip under both Tony Blair and Gordon Brown, later becoming Shadow Minister for International Development under Ed Miliband's leadership. He left that post last October.

Sir Tony was knighted in 2012 Credit: Sean Dempsey/ PA

Speaking to ITV Border's Political Correspondent Paul Brand, Sir Tony said he was becoming tired of the long travel between his constituency and Westminster and was particularly keen to spend more time with his young son. He said "I feel the time is right" to retire and step down as an MP.

His decision means Labour will now have to select a new candidate for the seat before the general election in May next year.

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