A Labour MP who has been the longest-serving Government whip announced today that he will stand down at the general election.
Tommy McAvoy, MP for Rutherglen and Hamilton West, decided to retire after 23 years in Westminster.
He said: "I have now reached the age of 66 and like anyone it is only natural to consider my future.
"Having considered all the factors involved I have concluded, after a lot of thought, the best thing for the local party and my family is to step down.
"I am proud to have been elected at successive elections as a Labour and Co-operative MP. I am also proud to have served 13 years within the Labour Government Whips Office."
Mr McAvoy, born and brought up in Rutherglen, offered his full support to his successor who will have "all to fight for" at the forthcoming election.
Prime Minister Gordon Brown described the MP as a "titan of the House of Commons", adding: "Throughout that time he has also tirelessly worked for the people of his home town of Rutherglen and the nearby area. His hard work will be sorely missed in Lanarkshire and Westminster alike.
Secretary of State for Scotland Jim Murphy said: "Tommy is not just an MP - he is an institution. He is the longest serving government whip of all time.
"His job has been to steer laws through parliament to change people's lives. It is because of his work that Labour has been able to introduce so many changes which help so many people in different ways."Reuse content