Retiring Wolverhampton MP Rob Marris: "It has been a joy and honour to serve city"
Retiring MP Rob Marris said it had been a 'joy and an honour' to serve the city where he was born in Parliament as he revealed why he is standing down.
The 62-year-old has spent 11 years as Wolverhampton South West MP over two spells but said it was time for somebody 'fresher' to take over the mantle.
He said: "When I stood for election in 2015 it was for a five-year term until I was 65.
"I felt I could do that but now, two years on, it would take me to 67 which is a different prospect.
"I was aware for quite some time that an early General Election was likely.
"It is not a snap decision I have made but one that has come after mature reflection.
"I think the constituency in Parliament needs someone fresher than me. I have done 11 years. Each MP has a time limit – I'm not saying it is 11 years for all but for me it is."
He was elected as Labour MP for the seat in 2001, 2005, and 2015 after losing out to Conservative Paul Uppal in 2010.
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His latest term will be cut short after MPs backed the Prime Minister's call for a snap General Election.
"I thought I could do three more years but our democracy hasn't made that possible," he said.
"When you stand as an MP it is a fixed-term contract.
"I didn't want to do another five years and I think it is self-indulgent for an MP, except in cases of bad health, to step down early. For the record, my health is perfectly fine."
Mr Marris, whose seat will be one of the top Conservative targets on June 8, said his decision was not influenced by the leadership of Jeremy Corbyn or the current state of the party.
He says he will be campaigning for Labour in the upcoming election.
He grew up in Bradmore and now lives in a terraced house with his wife Julia in Penn Fields and has no intention of moving.
He was a solicitor before becoming an MP and is a Wolves season ticket holder.
Reflecting on his time in Parliament, he said: "It is a joy and an honour to be entrusted with representing your home city at the wish of one's fellow citizens.
"As an MP I am constantly meeting new people and new organisations doing great things in Wolverhampton – as well as the work of a lot of old friends too.
"I will still be here so I will be able to do some of that."
In 2008 he was named Backbencher of the Year for his brilliant constituency work.
He cited obtaining £22 million from the Government for a new bus station in the city in 2009 as one of his proudest moments locally.
He said he was also pleased that developers and investors in Wolverhampton now 'perceived' the city as an easier place to do business.
On a national level he is most proud of his work to get the UK to create a multi-million dollar fund to help developing countries adapt to climate change.
He said: "The debate was all about cutting emissions but no-one was talking about adapting to inevitable climate change. Richer countries were much more responsible but the effects were actually felt by developing countries." A disappointment was seeing his Private Members' Bill on assisted dying – which would have allowed some terminally ill adults to end their lives with medical supervision – defeated by MPs.
"Two thirds of the UK population support it with proper safeguards," he said.
"MPs are entitled to their view and voted it down. As a democrat I accept that."
He now says he intends to spend more time in the garden as well as getting fitter by doing more cycling and walking.