Islwyn MP Don Touhig has announced he will stand down at this year’s General Election.
Mr Touhig revealed his decision not to stand in the forthcoming election at a meeting of the Islwyn Labour Party last night.
In a statement afterwards he said: “I have been active in politics for over 45 years and had the privilege of serving for 35 years – 15 years as MP for Islwyn and 20 years before that on Gwent County Council.
“After 35 years I think it is time to move on. I am associated with a number of voluntary organisations and I hope to continue this work.
“I owe a great debt to the Labour Party and the people of Islwyn who have placed their confidence in me to represent them in Parliament.
“It has been a huge privilege to represent Islwyn in the House of Commons.”
Councilor Tom Williams, chair of Islwyn Labour Party said: “Don has been an extremely hard working MP. He has helped so many people and has always been a strong supporter of local community groups.
“I would like to thank him for his years of service to the Islwyn constituency – he will be a hard act to follow. We wish him well in the future.”
A former newspaper journalist and editor Mr Touhig joined the Labour Party at the age of 15.
From 1973 to 1995 he served on Gwent County Council, chairing the Finance Committee between 1992 and 1994.
After his election to Parliament in 1995, succeeding former Labour leader Neil Kinnock as MP for Islwyn, he became a member of the Welsh Affairs Select Committee in 1996, a position he held until the following year.
He was also Gordon Brown’s Parliamentary Private Secretary when the now Prime Minister was Chancellor.
Mr Brown has paid tribute to Mr Touhig’s work and said: “Don served as a hard-working minister and a distinguished representative within senior parliamentary committees, and yet never lost sight of what mattered to the Islwyn constituents he represented, dedicating himself to a wide range of community groups in South Wales.”