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Saturday, 25 July 2009

John Barrett MP to stand down at the next election

John Barrett, Liberal Democrat MP for Edinburgh West, will be informing Edinburgh West Liberal Democrat members today, 25th July of his intention to step down from parliament at the next election.

Over 25 years Mr Barrett has been a Liberal Democrat standard bearer on the west side of Edinburgh, as a Community Councillor and campaigner, on Edinburgh City Council and at Westminster, where he was first elected to parliament in 2001.

His majority of 13,600 is now the second largest Liberal Democrat majority in the UK, after Charles Kennedy MP. He was elected to Edinburgh City Council in 1995, was the election agent in 1997 when the Liberal Democrats captured Edinburgh West from the Conservatives and he then went on to be David Steel's campaign manager for his election to the Scottish Parliament in 1999.

Mr Barrett said: “Serving the people of Edinburgh West at parliament has been a great privilege and honour and I have enjoyed every moment, however, after over 25 years campaigning, I believe the time is right to stand down from Westminster

“I am absolutely not retiring – at 55 years of age and while I am both fit and healthy I feel I have another challenge left in me. Another full term at Westminster would take me to 60 when I feel it would be much harder to make a fresh start at something new. Much of my work at Westminster has been with the poorest and most vulnerable people in the developing world. I hope to use the experience I have to continue with work in this field in the future.

“I have never been a career politician, I was a successful businessman for 20 year and a community campaigner who went to Westminster to serve my local area, not to further my political ambitions and I now I am looking forward to the next challenge. I am still 100% committed to supporting the Liberal Democrats at all levels.

“The only way I know how to do the job is to give it 100% commitment to the job and this usually means working long hours and most weekends. As a grandfather of two lovely grand-daughters, I would now like to spend my weekends with them instead.”

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