Page last updated at 06:06 GMT, Thursday, 21 August 2008 07:06 UK

MP Cryer to quit at next election

Ann Cryer
Mrs Cryer said she felt privileged to have represented her constituents

Campaigning Labour MP Ann Cryer is to step down from parliament at the next general election.

She was elected MP for Keighley in 1997 and has campaigned on issues including forced marriage, domestic violence and improving the human rights of women.

The 68-year-old told Labour Party members of her intention at a meeting in her constituency on Wednesday night.

She said she was going "for many reasons, mainly concerning my age, health and decreasing energy levels".

Mrs Cryer said: "My campaigns on behalf of some of our most vulnerable people are coming to fruition, the Forced Marriage (Civil Protection) Act comes into effect in September.

"This Act, along with new immigration rules I have been calling for, will help many young women and to a lesser extent men to have a greater say in the conduct of their own lives.

For over 20 years Ann has been battling for Keighley - fighting its corner, articulating its needs, representing its best hopes
Prime Minister Gordon Brown

"I would like to thank the people of my constituency, who it has been an absolute privilege to represent for the last 11 years in Parliament.

"Of course none of us are aware of when the next election will be called, but my work and that of my office will continue on behalf of constituents until then."

Prime Minister Gordon Brown said: "Ann Cryer has been a distinguished servant of the people of Keighley for many years - first assisting her late husband Bob Cryer, who represented the seat between 1974 and 1983, and then as the Labour MP for the seat since 1997.

"For over 20 years Ann has been battling for Keighley - fighting its corner, articulating its needs, representing its best hopes.

"She knows every inch of her constituency and her understanding of its communities is second to none.

"After encountering a number of forced marriages among her constituents, she mounted a brave campaign to highlight the sometimes appalling mistreatment of women forced to be brides."

Mrs Cryer became an MP following the death of her first husband Bob in a car accident. He held the Keighley seat and then the Bradford South seat before his death in 1994.

In 1997 she was elected as MP for Keighley and kept the seat in 2001 and 2005. She lost her second husband, the Reverend John Hammersley, to cancer in November 2004.


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