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Labour MP Shaun Woodward to step down

Labour cabinet minister Shaun Woodward, who defected from the Conservative Party, is to step down from Parliament at the 2015 general election.

Former Northern Ireland Home Secretary Shaun Woodward Credit: Peter Byrne/PA Wire

The former Northern Ireland secretary, who represents St Helens South and Whiston, said he wanted to pursue voluntary and business interests after 18 years in the Commons.

Ed Miliband said he had served with "great distinction" as an MP and minister and paid tribute to the "most acute strategic advice" he provided to Labour leaders after crossing the floor.