Ex-Cabinet minister Hazel Blears to step down as an MP

Former Labour Cabinet minister Hazel Blears is to step down as MP for Salford and Eccles at the next election.

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Hazel Blears steps down with 'a heavy heart'

Salford and Eccles Labour MP Hazel Blears has announced she is to stand down at the next General Election.

In a statement she said she is stepping down after what will have been 18 years in the role with ‘a heavy heart’.

Mrs Blears said she wants to spend more time with her family, including her mum Dorothy, who has dementia, her dad Arthur, who is his wife’s main carer, and her husband Michael.

She informed her local constituency Labour Party of her decision at its monthly meeting this evening.

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Blears 'looked happy' as she arrived at party meeting

ITV News Granada Reports political reporter Daniel Hewitt is outside the meeting of Hazel Blears' local Labour party:

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I've just spoken to Hazel Blears. Didn't want to speak on camera but looked happy as she prepares to tell members news she's stepping down.

Read: Hazel Blears to step down as MP at next election