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Des Browne to resign as MP to 'seek further challenges'

Former defence secretary Des Browne has announced that he is to quit the House of Commons at the next general election.

Mr Browne, who has also served as Scottish Secretary, said he had decided with "some reluctance" that it was time to move on. But the Labour politician said he wanted to spend more time working towards the goals of multilateral disarmament and conflict resolution. Mr Browne, who was elected as the MP for Kilmarnock and Loudon in 1997, is one of the members of the Top Level Group of UK Parliamentarians for Multilateral Disarmament and Non- Proliferation.

He said it had been an "enormous privilege and honour" to have been an MP for 12 years, adding: "But those who know me best know it has always been my plan to seek further challenges outside Parliament and the time has come for me to put that plan into action."

Mr Browne held senior Government posts in six departments over a period of seven years.