Labour MP Tristram Hunt for Stoke-on-Trent Central has today resigned from the party.
The shock decision will trigger a by-election for the Stoke-on-Trent Central constituents.
Mr Hunt has been Stoke Central’s MP for six years but has stepped down to pursue a career outside of politics, taking a job as a director at the Victoria and Albert Museum in London.
Councillor Mohammed Pervez, Leader of the Labour Group said: “Tristram put Stoke-on-Trent back on the map.
“He is an excellent person, very professional and despite political disagreements we never fell out on a personal level.
“It’s a huge loss to Stoke-on-Trent and I’m saddened by the news of his resignation.
“I wish him every success.”
In Mr Hunt’s resignation letter he said: “There were very few jobs that would have convinced me to stand down as MP for Stoke-on-Trent Central, but the post of Director of the V&A – the world’s greatest museum of art, design and performance – is just that.
“I am sorry to put you, the party and the people of Stoke-on-Trent through a by-election.
“I have no desire to rock the boat now and anyone who interprets my decision to leave in that way is just plain wrong.”
Mr Hunt was set to lose his marginal seat in 2018 under proposed changes to the constituency boundaries.
The proposed boundary changes were under a consultation period that closed on December 5 2016.
The outcome of the consultation is yet to be announced.