John Prescott has announced he will step down as an MP at the next General Election.
The former Deputy Prime Minister - who has been in the Commons for 37 years - relayed his decision to activists at a party in his Hull East constituency over the weekend.
Stephen Brady, chairman of the local Labour association, said today: "John told us he would not be standing again.
"People paid tribute to his long service. It was an emotional event."
Mr Prescott, 69, previously dismissed persistent rumours that he would be standing down as "press prattle".
Having recently been appointed head of the Parliamentary delegation to the Council of Europe, he is not expected to retire from public life.
Westminster watchers believe he will enter the House of Lords soon after leaving the Commons. He has also struck a reported £300,000 deal to write his memoirs.
Among the contenders to succeed Mr Prescott in Hull East is his son, David. Former Shipley MP and Gordon Brown aide Chris Leslie is also expected to run.
Mr Brady said: "It's no secret that a number of people are in the frame for selection already.
"Now people will start putting their names forward formally."Reuse content