BREAKING NEWS: Shaun Woodward to stand down as MP

Shaun Woodward MP at his office in St Helens.
Shaun Woodward MP at his office in St Helens.
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St Helens South MP Shaun Woodward is to stand down at the next general election, it has been announced.

The Labour MP, who has served as one of the borough’s MPs since the 2001 election, announced his intention to step down on Thursday night.

A former Northern Ireland Secretary, he joined the Labour Party in 1999 after several years as a Conservative MP.

Mr Woodward first told party leader Ed Miliband of his plans during the parliamentary recess.

He will tell Labour colleagues in the local Labour Parliamentary Party on Thursday night of his plans.

Mr Woodward has been an MP for 18 years and worked as a TV producer and the Conservative Party’s communications director before his move into politics.

He said: “At the next election I will have been in Parliament for 18 years; I believe this will be the right timing to stand down and pursue more actively my other interests in the voluntary and business sectors.”