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City MP Ken to retire

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Wolverhampton MP Ken Purchase is to stand down from Parliament at the next general election, he revealed this afternoon.

wd2420869ken-purchase-1-nb.jpgWolverhampton MP Ken Purchase is to stand down from Parliament at the next general election, he revealed this afternoon.

The Labour MP for Wolverhampton North East informed his constituency officers last night of his decision.

He will officially tell the West Midlands Labour Party on Monday. Mr Purchase is 68 and will be 70 if he leaves the Commons in a 2009 election.

He won more than 50 per cent of the vote in 2005, with a majority of 8,156, and there is now certain to be a clamour to succeed him in a seat which has been solidly Labour since Mr Purchase recaptured it from the Tories in 1992.

He said: "It has been a great privilege and honour to have served the people of the area where I was born, educated and continue to live."

He thanked party activists for their support, and specifically paid tribute to "the huge contribution by my wife, Brenda, whose love, support and understanding has made everything possible for me".

He said: "These have been immensely rewarding and enjoyable years, and now Brenda and I are looking forward to retiring from frontline politics.

"I shall of course continue to serve as diligently as always until my successor has been elected."

Mr Purchase was first elected to the then Wolverhampton County Borough Council in 1970.

He chaired many of the committees on the council before entering Parliament and also led for the council on Wolverhampton Health Authority.

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