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Labour MP Rosie Cooper Announces Plans To Step Down, Which Will Trigger By-Election

Rosie Cooper announced her intention to step down as an MP

2 min read

Senior Labour MP Rosie Cooper has announced her intention to stand down, which will trigger a by-election in her constituency this autumn.

The West Lancashire MP said she was "very sad" her time in Parliament had "come to an end" as she announced she was taking up a new role as chair of an NHS trust.

Cooper, who has held her seat since 2005, said the decision would come as a "surprise" to her constituents after it was announced earlier this year that she had secured reselection to run as Labour's candidate in the next general election.

She did not give a timeline for exiting Parliament but she said the new appointment would mean she was "unable to continue" in her role as an MP. A Labour Party source told PoliticsHome they were expecting the by-election to take place later in the autumn.

In a statement, Cooper said: "The decision to apply for the role was taken after a considerable period of soul searching and reflection.

"There is no question I am very sad that my time in West Lancashire has come to an end. I will leave certain that I gave everything I had to this role which I love, and to people who have come to mean a great deal to me."

Cooper said she had "loved every minute" of her time as an MP, but said her new role with Mersey Care NHS Foundation Trust "felt like the right opportunity at the right time".

Before entering Parliament, Cooper had served in a number of NHS roles, including as chair of Liverpool Women's Hospital.

Her decision to step down will trigger a tough by-election fight for Labour leader Keir Starmer who will hope to defend the seat which has been held by his party since 1992.

Cooper, who won the seat in the 2019 general election with a majority of over 8,000, said she would continue to "take an interest from a distance".

The Labour MP also appeared to make reference to a foiled murder plot against her in 2017, for which neo-Nazi Jack Renshaw was handed a life sentence after he admitted purchasing a sword which he had planned to use in an attack on Cooper and a female police officer.

She added: "The events I have faced over the last few years are well documented and undoubtedly have taken their toll."

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