Peter Hain, the Labour MP and former Cabinet minister, has announced he will “draw stumps” on his career at the general election after nearly a quarter of a century in the House of Commons.
He had been re-selected by Labour as its candidate in Neath for the 2015 election but decided to stand down following discussions with Ed Miliband.
“After considerable thought and in discussion with Ed Miliband, leader of the party and for many years my close colleague, I have decided to draw stumps on my House of Commons career,” he said.
“I have been in politics for some 50 years, 23 of those in the House; whilst it is my firm intention to remain active in politics, I have decided that it is time to find new ways to represent the new progressive politics to which I and Ed Miliband are committed. It's time for a change.
Before joining the Labour party he gained recognition as an anti-Apartheid campaigner and later served in the cabinet under Tony Blair and Gordon Brown, with stints as Northern Ireland secretary, Welsh secretary, work and pensions secretary and leader of the Commons.
Mr Miliband praised his “integrity, wisdom and firmness in speaking up for those least empowered to speak for themselves” while his constituency association said in a statement: “His unstinting work to negotiate a peace settlement in Northern Ireland has brought a stability to the area that just years before no-one would have thought possible.”