Labour's Alan Johnson to stand down as MP at snap General Election

Sean Morrison
Former Cabinet Minister Alan Johnson will stand down at the general election: PA

Former Home Secretary Alan Johnson will not stand in the snap general election.

The Labour veteran said his decision to bow out of the Commons ahead of the election on June 8 was “best for the party”.

Mr Johnson led Labour’s fight to remain in the EU but clashed with Jeremy Corbyn, claiming his office was “working against” the party’s efforts.

Some 20 years after entering Parliament, the former Shadow Chancellor told his Hull West and Hessle constituency party of his plans to quit.

He wrote: "Every day has been a privilege and a pleasure but it can't go on for ever and the electoral cycle means that each incumbent has to think again about what's best for them, the constituency and the Party.

"As far as the constituency and the Party are concerned, no MP wants to put them through the anguish of a mid-term by-election, so for me the personal decision is whether to retire now or in 2022 when I'll be into my 70s.

"I've decided that going now will give me the opportunity to do other things with my life and is therefore in the best interests of me and my family. I also think it's best for the party."

Mr Johnson, who was once tipped as a potential Labour leader, stood for the deputy leadership in 2007 but was defeated by Harriet Harman.

Mr Corbyn paid tribute to Mr Johnson, who served in the Labour government between 2003 and 2010.

He said: "I want to thank Alan Johnson for his years of dedicated service to the Labour Party and to the people of Hull West and Hessle.

"Alan is the epitome of Labour values, coming from extremely humble beginnings, working as a postman before working in the trade union movement and then as a Labour member of parliament.”

"He is a politician who commands respect and admiration from across the political divide, and he will be missed from the Commons by members of all parties."

The news comes the day Theresa May called for the snap General Election after previously ruling it out until 2020.