SELBY MP John Grogan has announced he will stand down at the next General Election.

Mr Grogan, who became Selby's first ever non-Conservative MP in 1997, broke the news in a letter to his local party members.

Boundary changes mean the Selby seat will disappear at the next election, to be merged into the new York Outer and Selby and Ainsty seats.

Mr Grogan did not rule out standing for office again in future, but wanted to devote his time to his current constituents, rather than campaigning outside his present constituency.

Mr Grogan wrote: "I would prefer to spend my remaining time as Selby's MP trying to finish the job in a constituency whose electorate, somewhat against the odds, have three times given me the honour of being their MP."

Mr Grogan was first selected as Selby Labour candidate in 1985. He added: "By the time of the next election I may well have spent 25 years of my life - a quarter of a century - arguing the case for progressive policies in Selby constituency.

"The people of the towns and villages of this area, in the heart of Yorkshire, have helped shape and develop my views over this period.

"I remain as committed to the ideals and values of the Labour Party as on the day I started campaigning and am proud that a third-term Labour Government has been able to deliver so much for Selby constituency. In particular, I would note record levels of employment, investment in schools, cuts in hospital waiting lists and more opportunities for the least well-off."

He said he would always "retain the greatest affection and regard for the people of Selby".

Mr Grogan's agent John Tiplady said he had been a "strong, independent minded, common sense and progressive voice at the national level".

Nigel Adams, prospective Conservative candidate for Selby and Ainsty, said: "John Grogan is one of the few independently minded Labour MPs from the 1997 intake. Despite our obvious political differences, I believe that he has been an effective advocate for Selby."