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Labour MP to quit, will do charity in India

Last updated on: June 03, 2009 11:32 IST

Senior Labour leader Patricia Hewitt, a former health secretary in the Tony Blair government has announced that she will not contest the next elections and will focus instead on charity work in India.

Hewitt, 60, is one of over 50 MPs who have decided not to contest the next elections following public outcry over publicly-funded expenses, but she insisted that her decision had nothing to do with the issue.

Hewitt, MP from Leicester West, will take over as the chairperson of the UK India Business Council in July. She also plans to spend more time with family and work more to help the New Delhi-based charity organisation, Katha.

The Daily Telegraph, which has led public revelations of alleged misuse of public funds by MPs for personal gains, has also published details about Hewitt's allegedly improper financial transactions.

Hewitt said in a statement, "I did initially want to serve another term. But I feel the time is right. The truth is that after 13 years as an MP and 10 years in Government, I have not seen enough of my family. They have paid a high price for that."

She added, "This has been a very difficult decision to make but after talking it through with my family I have decided that by the next election this will be the right thing to do for me and my family."

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