Stoke-on-Trent North MP Joan Walley to stand down at next election

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Credit: wwfunitedkingdon, FlickR

Stoke-on-Trent North MP Joan Walley is to stand down at the next general election.

She announced her decision in a letter to her party.

Long hours and lots of travelling were contributing factors to her decision, while she also noted her age at the next election in 2015.

Mrs Walley said: “As you can imagine this has been a decision I have not reached easily and has only been possible after a lot of soul searching.

“But, hard as it is to imagine, I shall be 71 at the end of the next parliament.

“Given the demands of constant travelling, working from both the constituency and in parliament, working weekends and long hours, I think that 2015 is the right time for me to hang up my boots.”

Mrs Walley was first elected in 1987, and by the next election in 2015 will have served Stoke-on-Trent as an MP for 28 years.

Paul Farrelly, Newcastle-under-Lyme MP since 2001 and fellow Labour Party member, told StaffsLive Mrs Walley will be missed as a community representative.

He said: “For over 25 years now, Joan has been the most conscientious advocate for the people of Stoke North.

“She is adored in the local community, which she has represented so faithfully, and has contributed nationally, too, to another cause so dear to her heart, the protection of our environment.

“She will be sadly missed and long-respected for the decency and passion she brought to political life.”

Newcastle-under-Lyme Borough Council Labour Party leader Gareth Snell tweeted: “Sad news that Joan Walley MP is retiring from Parliament. She has been a good friend to Kidsgrove and Newcastle.”

(Additional reporting by Katie Brooks)

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