Page last updated at 12:50 GMT, Saturday, 4 July 2009 13:50 UK

Two North East MPs standing down

Doug Henderson and Hilary Armstrong
Both entered parliament in 1987

Two North East Labour MPs have announced they are standing down at the next general election.

Former Europe and Defence minister Doug Henderson, 60, said it was time for a "younger person with more energy" to fight the Newcastle North seat.

Ex-chief whip Hilary Armstrong, 65, also said she was standing down from her North-West Durham seat to make way for a younger generation.

Both MPs were first elected to the House of Commons in 1987.

Mr Henderson said: "It has been an immense privilege and an honour to represent a constituency with such a strong community spirit.

"But, I think it is now time for a younger person with more energy and vitality to take on the tough tasks ahead."

Mrs Armstrong notified local Labour activists of her decision earlier in the week.

She said: "I will be 65 at the end of 2010, and feel that it is now the right time to let someone else take up the role."

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