Page last updated at 20:13 GMT, Saturday, 23 January 2010

Labour MP Stephen Hesford to stand down at election

Stephen Hesford
Stephen Hesford was elected in Labour's landslide election win in 1997

The Labour MP for Wirral West, Stephen Hesford, is to step down at the next general election for "family reasons".

Mr Hesford said he was "proud to have represented Wirral West since 1997".

In a statement, he added that Labour had changed "people's lives through improvements to the NHS, the minimum wage and investment in local schools".

He quit as a parliamentary aide last year in protest at Attorney General Baroness Scotland's refusal to step down after employing an illegal worker.

Announcing his intention to step down as MP at the general election, Mr Hesford said: "I'm proud to have represented Wirral West since 1997.

"I have seen the enormous difference that Labour has made to people's lives through improvements to the NHS, the minimum wage and investment in local schools."

'Principle'

Mr Hesford resigned as parliamentary private secretary to Solicitor General Vera Baird last September.

At the time, he said: "My decision comes about because as an aide to the law officers, whilst I have great personal regard for the attorney general, I cannot support the decision which allows her to remain in office.

"In my view the facts of the case do not matter. It is the principle which counts, particularly at a time when the public's trust of Whitehall is uncertain to say the least. We have to be seen to be accountable."

The UK Border Agency said Baroness Scotland had taken steps to check Tongan Loloahi Tapui's right to work but had not kept a copy of documents, as required by law.



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SEE ALSO
Aide quits over attorney general
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Stephen Hesford
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