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Teresa Pearce MP won't stand at next election

PUBLISHED: 07:00 12 July 2019

Teresa Pearce MP. Picture: PA

Teresa Pearce MP. Picture: PA

PA Archive/Press Association Images

Teresa Pearce has confirmed she will be standing down at the next election, claiming the time is coming for "a new voice" for Erith and Thamesmead.

The Labour MP said some reasons are personal, "some are not" as she confirmed she would not be running again in the next election.

Pearce, who has represented Erith and Thamesmead since 2010, said she is now looking forward to spending more time with her family.

The 64-year-old won more than 57per cent of the vote at the last election, but said the time is coming for a new voice.

In the meantime the MP, who has been elected in increased majorities, will continue to represent the constituency.

Pearce told the local democracy reporting service: "I have made the decision to not stand at the next election, there are many reasons some personal, some not.

"But I will be 65 in February and I think it's time to step away. It has been a real privilege to serve my community in these past nine years.

"There have been many changes and challenges along the way, but I have tried to use my voice effectively on behalf of my constituents where I could.

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"I believe the time is coming for a new voice to speak up for the people of Erith and Thamesmead, and I will be wishing my successor well.

"For myself, I am definitely looking forward to being able to spend much more time being nanna to my five grandchildren which is the best job in the world."

Labour MPs across the country have been asked to confirm whether or not they intend to stand again whenever the next election - pencilled in for 2022, although many believe the country's current Brexit impasse could result in one much soon - is.

Daniel Francis, the leader of Bexley Labour, paid tribute to Ms Pearce's time in office.

He said: "I have known Teresa for 25 years and have worked alongside her over this period as fellow Bexley councillors, within the Erith and Thamesmead Labour Party and across many community campaigns.

"During her time in Parliament she has worked diligently on behalf of her constituents raising tens of thousands of cases on their behalf, often for those in the most desperate need of help.

"She has led on successful parliamentary campaigns to make emergency first aid education compulsory in state schools and to highlight the risks for pregnant women with epilepsy if they take certain anti-epileptic drugs.

"On a personal level, I would like to thank Teresa for taking up this campaign.

"At the time of her selection in 2009, my wife had changed her drugs in order to be able to safely conceive which in turn resulted in the end of her 12 year seizure free period and impacted greatly on her health and our ability to have a family.

"Having seen this first hand, Teresa has led campaigns to support families like ours affected by epilepsy, showing the difference that politicians can make for their constituents."

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