Martin Salter - working hard for Reading West

Salter to Stand Down at Next Election

Labour Party members in Reading West are being informed this week that Labour MP Martin Salter has decided to stand down at the next general election, after more than 25 years of public service in the town.

Mr Salter, who is one of Reading’s longest-serving public representatives, has pledged to remain as a full-time MP until the election. He has also been asked to join Labour’s national general election campaign team by the Party’s general election campaign co-ordinator, Douglas Alexander MP.

In a letter to Labour Party members in Reading West, Mr Salter wrote:

” It has been a huge privilege to serve the people of Reading and the Labour Party as both a councillor and a Member of Parliament, but I really do want to move on and do something else with my life while I’ve still got some energy left. I’m very proud of all we have achieved together for our town and will always be grateful for the support and encouragement I have received from Labour Party members in Reading. I couldn’t have represented a better constituency or a nicer group of people.”

Mr Salter said:

” It is always difficult to know the right time to move on, but having just passed the big milestone of a quarter of a century in public life, I am now certain that this is the right decision for me, personally, and for my family.

” I’ve given the matter a great deal of thought over the past 18 months and was coming to the view that if this parliament were to run its full-term, which now seems highly likely, then I would not stand again. I’ve always said that I had no desire to be rattling around the House of Commons in my 60s and stepping down now means I’ll have time enough to seek new challenges before I retire.

” Now is also the right time for the Labour Party to choose my replacement and for a new candidate to have long enough to establish themselves in the constituency.

” My successor will inherit a strong team of Labour councillors in Reading West, who defied political gravity at the last local elections by winning five of the seven Reading Borough Council wards in my constituency. They will also have the benefit of a healthy Labour majority to defend, which has also been enhanced by recent changes to the constituency boundaries.”

Secretary of State for International Development and Labour’s general election campaign co-ordinator, Douglas Alexander, said:

” Martin told me more than a year ago that if this parliament ran longer, he was unlikely to stand again. He is an outstanding campaigner and has made a huge contribution at Westminster. Martin will be greatly missed, but I welcome his commitment to playing a key role in our national general election campaign.”

Mr Salter added:

“My constituents can be assured that I will keep working hard for them as a full time MP right up to the final whistle. I will not be taking on any outside business interests or second jobs for as long as I remain a Member of Parliament.”

Martin Salter’s message to constituents is contained in his eleventh Annual Report, now available here.