Page last updated at 14:31 GMT, Monday, 12 October 2009 15:31 UK

Long-serving Tory MP stands down

John Horam
Mr Horam has changed political party on two occasions

A long-serving Conservative MP has announced that he will stand down at the next general election.

John Horam, who represents Orpington, Kent, has spent more than 30 years as an MP, serving as a minister in both Tory and Labour governments.

The resignation of the 70-year-old, who was untouched by the Westminster expenses scandal, brings the number of confirmed Commons retirees to 108.

He said it had been a "great honour and pleasure" to represent Orpington.

Mr Horam retained the seat with a majority of almost 5,000 in 2005.

He was first elected to Parliament in 1970 as the Labour MP for Gateshead West before joining the breakaway SDP in 1981 and unsuccessfully fighting Labour in Newcastle upon Tyne Central in 1983.

Mr Horam changed party again and returned to the Commons in 1992 as the Conservative MP for Orpington.

Under Tory prime minister John Major he served as junior health minister from 1995 to 1997, 16 years after being a junior transport minister in Jim Callaghan's Labour administration.

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