Leeds & West Yorkshire

Halifax MP Linda Riordan to stand down at general election

Linda Riordan
Image caption Linda Riordan was first elected in 2005

Halifax MP Linda Riordan has announced she will not stand at the general election because of health problems.

The 61-year-old said rheumatoid arthritis had made it "increasingly difficult to carry out the job as effectively as I would like".

Mrs Riordan, who was elected with a majority of 1,472 in 2010, said it had been "an incredibly tough decision".

She was first elected in 2005 and was returned to Westminster in 2010 with a reduced majority.

In a letter to party members, Mrs Riordan said: "I think this decision is the best one for the people of Halifax and the constituency.

"I don't want to go into a vital general election campaign knowing that I can't give that campaign the energy and commitment it needs."

Her seat is a Conservative target at the general election in May and Prime Minister David Cameron chose Halifax as the place to launch the first Conservative poster campaign of the year in January.

At the time Mrs Riordan told the BBC: "I am glad the prime minister decided to come to Halifax. At least it means he knows where the town is now."

As her decision to not fight the seat again has come so close to May's election, the Labour Party nationally will put forward a list of candidates rather than the local party choosing.

Labour leader Ed Miliband said: "I want to thank Linda for the huge contribution she's made to parliament.

"For a decade she has tirelessly served her Halifax constituents. I know how proud she has been to represent the town in which she was born and has lived all her life."

Mrs Riordan is the fourth Labour MP in West Yorkshire to confirm they will not be standing again in May.

Related Topics

More on this story

Related Internet links

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external Internet sites