[an error occurred while processing this directive]
BBC News
watch One-Minute World News
Last Updated: Friday, 22 June 2007, 10:26 GMT 11:26 UK
Sarwar plans to stand down as MP
Mohammed Sarwar

Mohammad Sarwar, the 54-year-old Labour MP for Glasgow Central, has announced he is to stand down from Westminster at the next General Election.

The father-of-four, Britain's first Muslim MP, said he had received death threats over the Kriss Donald murder.

But he denied the threats or his son's conviction for money laundering had anything to do with his decision to move on.

He said he would focus more of his energies on his charity work.

Cash and carry managing director Athif Sarwar, 28, was convicted for an 850,000 money laundering scam in May.

He had handled thousands of pounds of money described as "criminal property".

I told the Labour Party before the Scottish Parliament elections that I would not be seeking re-selection
Mohammed Sarwar MP

But Mr Sarwar said his decision was influenced by other factors. He said: "This is my third term in the House of Commons.

"I was a councillor before I was an MP. I thought the time was now right to move on.

"I am heavily involved in charity work across the world and I want to help people in desperate need in education and health.

"I am also a grandfather now and I would like to have more time with my grandchildren. I also have elderly parents and I want to give more time to them."

He added: "(His son's conviction) has no bearing whatsoever on my decision. I told the Labour Party before the Scottish Parliament elections that I would not be seeking re-selection."

Mr Sarwar, a retail millionaire, also promised to keep working to improve his local community even when he is no longer serving as the area's MP.

Mr Sarwar also discussed his role in helping to negotiate the transfer of the killers of Kriss Donald from Pakistan to Scotland.

Controversy

He said: "I think it was a brutal and vicious murder and it sent a message to all those who seek to commit crimes and then flee from justice.

"I am glad I was able to bring back the murderers of Kriss Donald with the support of Strathclyde Police who did wonderful job of bringing them back to face justice."

Mr Sarwar also said that Gordon Brown would be an "excellent" prime minister.

The MP is planning to concentrate on charity projects in Scotland and his native Pakistan.

His political career has, however, been dogged by controversy since he won a bitter selection battle against Mike Watson, the former MP for Glasgow Central.

Soon after his election, he was suspended from the parliamentary Labour party over allegations of bribing political opponents, and stood trial for fraud.

He was acquitted in March 1999 and restored to the parliamentary Labour Party.

He has concentrated on constituency issues, and has become one of the leading Commons advocates of the Scottish ship-building industry.




VIDEO AND AUDIO NEWS
Mr Sarwar explains why he has decided to step down



SEE ALSO
Sarwar faces down death threats
22 Jun 07 |  Glasgow and West
Mohammad Sarwar's retirement letter
22 Jun 07 |  Glasgow and West
MP's son guilty of huge cash scam
24 May 07 |  Glasgow and West
MP urges rethink on asylum case
21 Sep 06 |  Glasgow and West
Sarwar in talks after city bombs
19 Jul 05 |  Scotland
Gangsters, murder and extradition
08 Nov 06 |  Scotland
Kriss police arrive in Pakistan
30 Sep 05 |  Scotland
Suspect parcel mailed to MP
18 Apr 03 |  Scotland
Sarwar returns to Labour fold
26 Mar 99 |  Politics

RELATED BBC LINKS

RELATED INTERNET LINKS
The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites



FEATURES, VIEWS, ANALYSIS
Has China's housing bubble burst?
How the world's oldest clove tree defied an empire
Why Royal Ballet principal Sergei Polunin quit

PRODUCTS & SERVICES

Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific