Ashfield MP Gloria De Piero to stand down before next General Election

Gloria De Piero MP has announced that she will not stand for reelection in Ashfield at the next General Election.
Gloria De Piero MP has announced that she will not stand for reelection in Ashfield at the next General Election.

Ashfield MP Gloria De Piero has revealed that she intends to step down from her position before the next General Election, whenever that comes.

The MP announced her decision at a meeting of her constituency Labour Party on Friday, July 19, and has now also resigned from her position as a shadow justice minister.

Setting out her reasons, Gloria cited the pressures of being caught in the crossfire of debates about Brexit and the future direction of the Labour Party.

She thanked local Labour members for their support and said she believed Labour stood every chance of winning the highly marginal seat again when the country next goes to the polls.

She said: "I’ve had time to think about whether I can continue to give you all the energy and personal sacrifices that you need as a Labour champion for this constituency. You deserve the absolute best.

"And while I’ve given the people in this room and this constituency everything I have for the last nine years, I question whether I can give you the commitment you deserve for what could be a further eight years."

She added: "I want to spend the limited time I have left as an MP focusing on what brought me to this Party – to fight for opportunities in life that people from backgrounds like mine rarely have."

"Ashfield will always have a place in my heart. So whether it’s for three more months or three more years that I am your MP, I will continue to give you my all."

Elected in 2010, Gloria expressed regret that she will have spent her entire career as an MP in opposition.

She said: "Over 30 per cent of children in Ashfield are living in poverty. When Labour was in Government, 25 people were homeless in Ashfield. This year it’s 123.

"Ashfield workers are working for wages that are below the national average and the regional average. Just 16.5 per cent of 18-year-olds from Ashfield went to university last year – just about the lowest in the country. Ashfield needs a Labour Government."

She added: "Every day we spend there is a betrayal of the people we came into politics to represent. Labour Governments don’t betray people but Labour oppositions do."

As one of the constituencies most consistently in favour of the UK's exit from the European Union, Gloria has frequently found herself at odds with Remain campaigners over her decisions to respect the wishes of local voters.

She said: "It’s a democracy we live in after all, but the abuse I’ve had on social media from some who want to overturn the referendum has been pretty grim.

"So to all those who have said that I only hold the position I do because I want to hold my seat, I’m afraid it’s much worse than that – I actually believe it and I’ll keep fighting for a Brexit with the closest possible trading ties with the EU."

Gloria also said her decision was partly due to changes in the internal culture of the Labour Party in recent years.

She said: "The Labour Party is made up of mostly good people who sometimes disagree on how to achieve good. There is nothing wrong with that. It’s good and its healthy and it should be welcomed.

"The lack of tolerance for different viewpoints in the Labour Party frankly worries me. We have to have respect for each other, even if we disagree, because we are all part of this Party."