This month John Denham stood down from the Shadow Cabinet. John can also now announce he will not be standing at the next General Election, having served Southampton as an elected representative for 30 years.
Commenting on his standing down at the next General Election, John Denham MP said:
“Although I shall be standing down at the next General Election I remain totally committed to serving the people of Southampton Itchen so long as I am their MP, as I have done since my first election in 1992.”
John’s letter to Ed Miliband:
I told you some months ago that I would not be standing at the the General Election. After 30 years continuous service as an elected councillor or MP I think I should move on whilst I still have enthusiasm for the role. We both agree that you would need to bring someone into the Shadow Cabinet who would be able to serve as Minster in the next Government
It has been a huge honour to be on Labour’s front bench in Government and in Opposition and I have particularly enjoyed working with you over the past year as you have developed a clear, relevant and necessary vision of the way forward for Britain and for the Labour Party.
I’m delighted that you have asked me to continue to work closely with you as your PPS and playing a full part in Labour’s work inside and outside Parliament.
Ed Miliband’s letter to John Denham
Thank you for your letter confirming your decision, as you told me some months ago, that you wished to step down from the shadow cabinet.
You have been an outstanding colleague and steadfast friend both in government and in opposition.
As the first ever Secretary of State for Innovation, Universities and Skills you revitalised the apprenticeship programme from collapse under the Conservatives and rebuilt them so that once again they are a mainstream choice for young people.
You oversaw the expansion in higher education, increased the amount of financial support available to students and championed fair access which has seen more young people than ever before going to university.
These actions have helped lay the foundations for a better future for thousands of young people across the country.
And as Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government you strengthened local democracy by shifting power back to local people and local communities.
Over the past year or so, you have held this government and Vince Cable in particular, to account by urging the government to remove the barriers to SME lending; attacking the tripling of university fees; the scrapping of the RDAs and the slashing of support for business.
On Bombardier you have eloquently made the case that this government are not only standing aside and failing British business, but breaking the promise of Britain.
Finally, I want to thank you for your continued support and for agreeing to take the crucial role of PPS. I very much look forward to working closely with you in the months and years ahead.