LONG-STANDING Coventry South MP Jim Cunningham is to step down at the next election.
A statement released this afternoon (September 9) states: “I am today announcing that I will be standing down at the next election.
“I have been privileged to represent this great city first as a councillor and then as a Member of Parliament for nearly 50 years.
“It has been the honour of my professional life to serve as your Member of Parliament for the last 27 years, but the time has come to hand over the baton to someone new.
“The current uncertainty in politics and the ongoing speculation about a snap General Election has provided me the opportunity to think about what is best for me and my family as well as my constituents and the local party.
“I want to thank the thousands of people who have supported me in my role.
“It has always been a team effort, from the party members who help campaign, to the staff who have worked with me in my office and of course my wife and family who continue to be a huge support.
“It is important now that the Labour Party allows local party members in Coventry South the opportunity to select a local candidate.
“It is imperative that the views and opinions of local party members are heard and that can only happen through a local open selection process.
“I will continue to do all I can to support my constituents until the next election.
“I wish the party and most importantly the people of Coventry South the very best for the future.”
Mr Cunningham, aged 78, was first elected as MP for Coventry South East in 1992 and has represented Coventry South since 1997.
The ex-city council deputy leader and Rolls Royce trade unionist, originally from Scotland, has consecutively seen off Conservative targeted challenges in Coventry South.