Peter Hain has told ITV News he will "play a different role" in politics after he steps down as MP for Neath next year, but refused to say what that role would be.
The 64-year-old former Welsh Secretary said he had made his decision to leave the House of Commons after discussion with Labour leader Ed Miliband.
Mr Hain said he will "continue to be active in politics", supporting Labour and Neath.
Asked whether he would become a member of the House of Lords, he said: "I'm not talking about any particular role I might perform."
Mr Hain told our reporter Tom Sheldrick that his early work in fighting apartheid, delivering extra powers for the Welsh Assembly and helping secure a political settlement as Northern Ireland Secretary were "the things I feel most proud about".
Neath's Constituency Labour Party has paid tribute to Mr Hain's service.
In a statement it said:
"For the last 23 years Peter Hain has served the people of Neath tirelessly, fighting for constituents and our Labour Party values.
Holding government positions like secretary of state for Wales he delivered further devolution for the people of Wales and at the department of trade and Industry he brought many hundreds of millions of pounds of compensation to thousands of chronically ill miners.
His unstinting work to negotiate a peace settlement in Northern Ireland has brought a stability to the area that just years before no-one would have thought possible.
In the Neath constituency he has helped many thousands of people through his surgeries and advice office. For over two decades he has been a popular campaigning MP fighting for residents and taking up the causes with great passion and commitment, and putting Neath on the map.
We thank Peter unreservedly for what he has done for us and are sure he will continue to play an active role in the constituency and the party.
As a constituency party we now look to begin the process of finding our parliamentary candidate for the 2015 general election and winning a Labour majority.
Peter Hain has announced he will stand down as the Labour MP for Neath at next year's general election.
The former Cabinet minister said he had "decided to draw stumps" on his Commons career following a series of discussions with Ed Miliband.
Mr Miliband praised the Neath MP for his integrity, wisdom and tireless work for the country and said he would be sorely missed.
During his lengthy career, he served in the cabinet under Tony Blair and Gordon Brown, with stints as Welsh secretary, Northern Ireland secretary, work and pensions secretary and leader of the Commons.
Mr Hain had been reselected to fight for the 2015 election for Neath, but said he would now find 'new ways' to be involved in politics.
A 27-year-old man was killed this morning after his motorbike crashed into a parked car near Neath.
South Wales Police say he was riding on Cadoxton Terrace, Cadoxton in the direction of Neath town centre when the collision happened at around 2am.
Anypne who saw or heard the collision is asked to contact South Wales Police's Roads Policing Unit on 101 or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555111.
The mother of a baby from Glynneath has been forced to hand out leaflets about her son's rare skin condition, after strangers thought he'd been burned.
18-month-old Geraint suffers from an incurable skin problem which has left his body covered in blisters.
His mum Angharad is trying to raise awareness of the condition in the hope that there will one day be a cure, as Alexandra Lodge reports.
The mother of a young boy with a rare skin condition has started handing out leaflets to try and raise awareness of his illness.
His mother Angharad says she was sick of people staring at her son when they left the house.
She said: "We would get comments from total strangers about why he wasn't dressed and what was the matter with his skin. People would ask whether he'd been burnt, or has he got eczema."
She's made special cards which give information about the condition to give to strangers who ask her about Geraint.
18-month-old Geraint Burns from Neath has Mastocytosis - a rare skin condition that affects only 3 children in the UK.
He has too many mast cells due to genetic mutations, which means his body is covered in painful blisters. He has to have medicine 4 times a day to keep the blisters at bay.
Sometimes strangers question whether he has been burnt - forcing his mum, Angharad, to hand out leaflets explaining his condition.
For more info on the condition you can visit the UK Mastocytosis Support Group website here.
Franco Gorno met his wife Joan at a bus stop in Neath in 1950. Over 60 years on, he goes to the bus stop every month to leave her flowers.Read the full story ›
The letter was found at the bus shelter in Neath, South Wales with a bouquet of tulips left by the 86-year-old man.Read the full story ›
Many of us have an embarrassing old jumper, knitted for us and tucked away in a drawer. But not many people would still be wearing it after 55 years.
But twins Patrick and Mike Davies from Neath have done just that.
In 1959, when they were just 15 years old, their mother knitted the unique jumpers for them. Now they're nearly 70, and still wearing them!
Do you have a jumper that was knitted especially for you? Why not send us a picture - no matter what they look like! You can email us on firstname.lastname@example.org