Page last updated at 14:21 GMT, Tuesday, 10 February 2009

Salter bows out at next election

Martin Salter MP
Martin Salter MP said he was ready to move on

Berkshire MP Martin Salter has revealed he will stand down at the next General Election after 12 years in his seat.

Mr Salter, 54, who has been the MP for Reading West since 1997, said he "had no desire to be rattling around the House of Commons in his 60s".

With a 4,682 majority, his voting record included a motion against the third runway at Heathrow Airport.

He also backed Liz Longhurst's campaign for a law banning violent online porn after her daughter Jane was murdered.

'Outstanding campaigner'

In a letter to Labour Party members in Reading West, he said: "It has been a huge privilege to serve the people of Reading and the Labour Party as both a councillor and a Member of Parliament, but I really do want to move on and do something else with my life while I've still got some energy left.

"I'm very proud of all we have achieved together for our town, I couldn't have represented a better constituency or a nicer group of people."

On Tuesday, Mr Salter revealed he has been asked to join Labour's National General Election campaign team by its co-ordinater Douglas Alexander MP.

I am now certain that this is the right decision for me, personally, and for my family
MP Martin Salter

Mr Alexander, said: "Martin is an outstanding campaigner, I welcome his commitment to playing a key role in our national general election campaign."

Mr Salter, who was deputy leader of Reading Borough Council for nine years, also voted for introducing ID cards, foundation hospitals, the hunting ban, replacing Trident and Labour's anti-terrorism laws.

The Home Affairs select committee member took part in 82% of votes in Parliament.

Mr Salter, who voted very strongly against an investigation into the Iraq war, first entered local politics in 1984 as a councillor for Park Ward.

Mr Salter added: "Having just passed the big milestone of a quarter of a century in public life, I am now certain that this is the right decision for me, personally, and for my family."

His Conservative predecessor, Sir Anthony Durant, served the Berkshire town for 23 years, from 1974-1997.

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