Veteran Barking MP to step down at next election

Barking MP Margaret Hodge has announced she is to leave Parliament after 27 years.

The veteran East London MP told the Barking Labour Party on Thursday December 2 that she will not stand in the next election and that “the time has come to move on to other things.”

Dame Margaret has held the constituency of Barking since first being elected in 1994, and served in several ministerial posts during the Labour government.

She was made a Dame in 2015 for political and public services.

She is also known for taking on the BNP when the party’s leader Nick Griffin stood against her in the 2010 election.

The 77 year-old told members that beating the BNP was the proudest moment of her time in the seat.

Dame Margaret also clashed with former Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn over allegations of anti-semitism in the party.

In a video to supporters, she said  that it had been a “tough” decision but that it was time to move on.

She said: “I wanted to thank you all for the warmth, the friendship, the support and the love you have shown me down the years.

“We have done fantastic things together.

“I am so proud of everything we’ve done – the biggest, biggest success and the biggest moment of my life was our campaign to get rid of the BNP.

“That is still absolutely stamped on my heart as a massive moment.”

Alastair Lockhart

Local Democracy Reporter