Hoon to step down as MP

FORMER British Defence Secretary Geoff Hoon, who tried to organise a vote by Labour MPs on Gordon Brown’s leadership last month, announced yesterday he was to step down as an MP at the next election.

Hoon and former health secretary Patricia Hewitt wrote to all the party’s MPs calling on them to hold a secret ballot on the future of Brown, saying it would help heal divisions.

But the move failed to gain any support and party officials said many Labour politicians were angered by the challenge.

Hoon’s local paper, the Nottingham Evening Post, reported that he faced a vote of no confidence at a meeting of his constituency party today because local activists were furious with his actions.

In a letter to local party members, Hoon, who has been MP for Ashfield, Nottinghamshire, since 1992, said he would not be seeking re-election but gave no reason for his decision.


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