DAVID Anderson, the Shadow Scottish Secretary, has announced that he will stand down at the General Election on June 8 for health, age and family reasons.

The 63-year-old MP for Blaydon has represented the Tyne and Wear seat since 2005.

The former miner and social worker denounced the calling of the snap election as “nothing more than a cynical attempt by the Tories to put their interests before our country”.

He said that while he welcomed the chance to take Labour’s case out to the people, he had “reluctantly decided that for reasons of health, age and my family’s needs, I cannot commit to another five years in Parliament”.

Me Anderson added: “To that end I will stand down but I will be campaigning hard with our new candidate and the positive policy platform put forward by our leader, Jeremy Corbyn, and the whole Labour movement.”

In January in an interview with The Herald, the Labour frontbencher admitted Mr Corbyn had to his raise his game in Scotland if Labour hoped to regain power.

He said there was "no plan written down" on how to revive Labour in Scotland but that his "basic reaction is we need to get back to grassroots".

Mr Anderson, who is also the Shadow Northern Irish Secretary, explained that he had not wanted to be a part-time Scottish Secretary but noted: "People for their own reasons decided they wouldn't take the job on."

Meantime, among a tranche of MPs deciding not to stand for re-election is Douglas Carswell, the former Ukip MP, who is now an Independent.

The backbencher, revealing that he would be voting Conservative on June 8, said he had decided that "it is time for me to move on to other things".

In 2014, the MP, representing Clacton in Essex, sensationally defected from the Tories to Ukip and became the eurosceptic party's first elected MP in a subsequent by-election.

However, he fell out spectacularly with then leader Nigel Farage and quit Ukip earlier this year to sit as an Independent.

He was facing a potential challenge in the upcoming election from millionaire businessman and former Ukip funder Arron Banks, who accused him of deliberately undermining the party and Mr Farage.

Elsewhere, Sir Gerald Howarth, the former Conservative defence minister and prominent Brexit backer, announced he had decided to stand down at the election.

The Aldershot MP, who once served briefly as Margaret Thatcher’s private parliamentary secretary, said he was honoured to have played a part in the "recovery of Britain's national sovereignty" and praised Theresa May's "outstanding leadership".

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