David Blunkett said Ed Miliband would want a "clear break from the past" if Labour won next year's general election, as he announced his decision to step down from Parliament.
Mr Blunkett, who will leave his Sheffied Brightside seat at the next general election, admitted to party members that standing down was his "most difficult political decision".
Next year will see 10 years on the backbenches, five in opposition.
Whilst I have been able to use the experience and the clout which came from having been a Cabinet minister for the benefit of the constituency in getting a hearing, contributing to policy and providing a voice for local people and for Sheffield at national level, it is clear that the leadership of the party wish to see new faces in ministerial office and a clear break with the past.
There does come a time when a fresh approach and the energy that goes with it outweigh other considerations, and I believe that for the party and for the constituency, as well as for me personally, that moment has come.
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