Labour MP Marsha Singh has announced he is to stand down from his position as Member of Parliament for Bradford West due to ill health.
First elected in 1997, Marsha is widely respected across Parliament as a strong voice for his constituents. He was re-elected in 2010 with a substantial swing to Labour, against the national trend, and is the longest-serving Member of Parliament for the Bradford West constituency.
But in recent months he has suffered with serious health problems. He has now decided to follow medical advice and step down as MP.
Marsha Singh MP said:
"This is a sad day for me. I have been extremely proud to represent the people of Bradford West for the last fifteen years. I'm passionate about Bradford; it is where I grew up and where my children were born, so it has been a great privilege to be asked by the electorate at four general elections to be their voice in Parliament.
"I have been suffering with serious health problems for some months now. I have had wonderful treatment from our fantastic NHS doctors and nurses here in Bradford. But it has become clear that it is going to take much longer than I'd expected to recover.
"At this crucial time in our country, with David Cameron's Government making decisions that are hugely damaging for Bradford, people here deserve a Labour MP who can throw all their efforts into standing up for them.
"I would like to thank the people of Bradford West from the bottom of my heart for putting their faith in me, and for all the warmth and affection they have shown me. I would also like to thank the Labour Party for all the support they've given me, particularly over the last few months. And I would like to thank my family - I very much look forward to being able to focus on being a dedicated husband, dad and grandad."
Ed Miliband, Leader of the Labour Party, said:
"I want to pay tribute to Marsha and his tireless work for the people of Bradford West. He is a man who entered politics for all the right reasons - to make a positive difference to people's lives and to stand up for social justice in the community where he grew up. He will be missed greatly by his parliamentary colleagues.
"He is doing the right thing by listening to the doctors - his priority now has to be to concentrate on regaining his health - and I wish him all the best on his long road to recovery."
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