Page last updated at 18:34 GMT, Thursday, 18 February 2010

Walsall South MP Bruce George to stand down

Bruce George MP
Bruce George has been an MP for 36 years

Senior Labour backbencher Bruce George is to stand down as an MP at the general election.

Mr George has been MP for Walsall South since 1974 and served from 1997 to 2005 as chairman of the influential cross-party Commons Defence Select Committee.

He said he had decided "with an extremely heavy heart" to stand down after 36 years for health and family reasons.

Mr George, 67, had a majority of 7,946 at the 2005 general election.

He said he had delayed his announcement until after the completion of Sir Thomas Legg's inquiry into parliamentary expenses, which found "no issues" with his claims.

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