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Austin Mitchell looks ahead to life outside Westminster

MPs all over our region will be packing up their offices and setting off on the campaign trail as Parliament prepares to end and the election goes into full throttle. However, for Austin Mitchell it is the end of an era as he steps down after 38 years as Labour MP for Great Grimsby. Austin, who was previously a Calendar Presenter, has been one of the Common's most colourful and controversial figures. Christine Talbot went to find out how he is facing up to life outside Westminster.

Austin Mitchell compares MPs to third division footballers

The retiring Great Grimsby MP Austin Mitchell has compared MPs to third division footballers as he prepares to vacate the seat he has held for almost 40 years.

Mr Mitchell, who is known for his off the cuff and outspoken views, has spoken out before the general election in May when he retires.

He told Calendar how the world of politics has changed since he was first elected 39-years-ago.


Grimsby MP apologises over "rape" comment

The Grimsby MP Austin Mitchell has apologised about comments he made online about pharmaceutical company Pfizer.

On Twitter, he likened the American company to 'rapists' in their bid to take over Astra Zeneca.

Speaking to LBC radio, he said he did not see a reason to apologise, labelling the row a "storm in a teacup" - but added he wished he had used a "different word".

However, a Labour spokesperson has now confirmed he has apologised to the party's chief whip, Rosie Winterton.

HS2 will 'suck talent, jobs and people' out of the North says MP

Grimsby MP, Austin Mitchell, told members of the Public Accounts Committee last night that he saw no evidence that the £42 billion HS2 scheme would help to bridge the north-south divide.

Instead, he told the Permanent Secretary for the Department of Transport, Philip Rutnam, that he was 'trying to justify a policy, in principle, that was plucked out of the air,' (video below). Rutnam replied that it was an essential project as trains are filling up.

Grimsby MP in hospital after Commons fall

Great Grimsby MP Austin Mitchell Credit: ITV Yorkshire

Grimsby MP Austin Mitchell is in hospital today after falling outside the Houses of Parliament last night.

Tests are being carried out on the 78-year-old former Calendar presenter at King's College Hospital, in London, where TV show 24 Hours in A&E is filmed.

A spokesperson for Mr Mitchell said: "Austin had a nasty fall after a Commons vote last night. He was taken to hospital but he's been in touch with the office this morning."


Dinosaur MPs

Austin Mitchell Credit: ITV Yorkshire

Veteran MP Austin Mitchel today claimed older MPs are now regarded, in some respects, as dinosaurs, geriatrics or out-of-touch idiots while Britain's party leaders seek "the youthful and brainless" as candidates for Westminster.

"Our leaders are desperate to give their teams the youthful image which radiates from Botox, hair dye and the gym," said , the 78-year-old Great Grimsby MP in an article in The Oldie magazine.

"Politics is now a game played on the media which abhors age. Parliament gets younger as society gets older. The proportion of older MPs has shrunk in inverse ratio to the increasing numbers of oldies in the real world."