Shadow culture secretary Tom Watson has announced he is standing down from parliament to focus on health campaigning.
The MP for West Bromwich East was appointed shadow secretary of state for digital, culture, media and sport in 2016 and is also deputy leader of the Labour Party.
He said on Twitter: “After 35 years in full-time politics, I’ve decided to step down and will be campaigning to overcome the Tory-fuelled public health crisis.
“I’m as committed to Labour as ever. I will spend this election fighting for brilliant Labour candidates and a better future for our country.”
Watson shared a letter addressed to Jeremy Corbyn outlining his reasons for “the very difficult decision”.
He said: “I want to thank you for the decency and courtesy you have shown me over the last four years, even in difficult times.
“Our many shared interests are less well known than our political differences, but I will continue to devote myself to the things we often talk about: gambling reform, music and arts, stopping press intrusion, obesity and public health, and of course horticulture and cycling.”
Watson, who has publicly shared his personal experiences of type two diabetes, said he will “devote [himself] to the public health challenge facing our country, taking on sugar companies, campaigning for policy change and setting up a ‘remission for all’ movement for type two diabetes”.
He added he has a book on “downsizing” coming out in the new year.
The news follows an announcement that former culture minister Ed Vazey will not be standing in the forthcoming general election because he wants to focus his attention on the arts and culture.