LABOUR will hope for a morale-boosting by-election win in Bradford West after MP Marsha Singh announced he was quitting because of “serious health problems”.
Mr Singh, who held the seat since 1997, described it as a “sad day” but said he had decided to stand down after discovering it would take longer than expected to recover.
The 57-year-old, who was briefly a parliamentary aide to Home Office Minister Phil Woolas during the last Labour government, was re-elected at the last General Election with a majority of 5,763 over the Tories.
Mr Singh said: “I have been suffering with serious health problems for some months now. I have had wonderful treatment from our fantastic NHS doctors and nurses here in Bradford. But it has become clear that it is going to take much longer than I’d expected to recover.”
Labour leader Ed Miliband paid tribute to Mr Singh’s “tireless work for the people of Bradford West”.
“He is a man who entered politics for all the right reasons – to make a positive difference to people’s lives and to stand up for social justice in the community where he grew up,” said Mr Miliband. He will be missed greatly by his parliamentary colleagues.”
A date for the by-election, which Labour will hope to win with an increased majority, has yet to be decided with officials considering whether local election day on May 3 could be suitable.