South Yorkshire MP to step down at next general election after 36 years in role

Sir Kevin Baron has announced he is to step down as Rother Valley MP at the next general election after 36 years in the role.

Wednesday, 3rd July 2019, 5:59 pm
Updated Thursday, 11th July 2019, 5:45 pm
Sir Kevin Baron has announced he is to step down as Rother Valley MP at the next general election

The Labour MP was elected to the South Yorkshire seat in 1983 after working in the coal industry and becoming part of the trade union movement.

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Sir Kevin made the announcement after all Labour MPs were asked by the party leadership to declare whether they intend to stand at the next general election.

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He said: “It has been the honour of my life to represent the people of Rother Valley in Parliament for over thirty-six years and I sincerely thank all of my constituents for their support over the years.

“Westminster politics can at times be challenging and divisive, but it remains the greatest way of giving a voice to the voiceless.”

In the late 1980s, Sir Kevin served as an aide to the then-Labour leader Neil Kinnock for three years.

But his most high-profile role was as Chairman of the Standards Committee - which oversees the behaviour of MPs - which he headed up from 2010-18.

In a letter to his constituents, Sir Kevin wrote: “As many of you will be aware the Labour Party has asked all MPs to indicate whether they would like to stand for Labour at the next election, I have decided that this Parliamentary term will be my last and I will not be putting myself forward for selection...

“I am very proud of the work that I have been able to do in Rother Valley and Parliament in particular leading the way on many of the smoking controls that we now take for granted.

“However, the work I am most proud of is the casework that never makes the headlines but makes a huge difference to people’s lives. I believe one of the main roles of being an MP is giving a voice to the voiceless and championing campaigns that otherwise would have no chance of success, I have always tried to do this throughout my political career.

His Rother Valley constituency has always been a safe labour seat, however, Mr Barron’s majority was significantly slashed at the last general election, going from 7,297 to 3,882.