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Annette Brooke MP to stand down at next election
12:00pm Friday 8th March 2013 in Latest
ANNETTE Brooke MP has announced she is to stand down at the next election.
The MP for mid-Dorset and north Poole told the Echo she felt it was “absolutely the right time to stand down” and was looking forward to a retirement away from the rigours of Westminster and constituency work.
The hardworking MP, who was elected in 2001, will not stand again in 2015.
She said: “People have known privately for some time that I wasn't going to stand for re-election in 2015, mainly because it's time for me to retire from full time work - I shall be 68 by then.”
The MP, who broke her hip and wrist in a fall last year, added: “I think I'd decided I wasn't standing before that - but that was really hard going up on the train on crutches after that.
!It's not the sort of job where you can take six months off after a bad accident - I was back on the job just as soon as I possibly could be, but I think it took a lot out of me. I am only now beginning to feel 100 per cent recovered.”
During her 12 years in Parliament Mrs Brooke, who was awarded her OBE for public and political service at Buckingham Palace on Thursday, has been spokeswoman for education and children.
She described being an MP as “an amazing experience,” citing winning the Female MP of the Year Award in the Dods and Scottish Widows Women in Public Life Awards among her proudest achievements, as well as her work on children's issues and solving constituents' problems.
The former Borough of Poole councillor and town mayor said she had “nothing lined up” for retirement, but hoped to spend more time with her family in Dorset, including her granddaughter, and continue her support for a number of charities of which she is patron, including Julia's House and Diverse Abilities Plus.
“Certainly lots of people wanted me to go on and on and on and I think that would be a mistake,” she added. “I have a lot more I want to do and I have two years to do it - that certainly focuses the mind. I shall be fully active right up until the election, and keep working at the same pace as I have always done.”
The Liberal Democrat party has started its selection process for a new constituency candidate.