Julia Irvine 19 Apr 2017 12:10pm

Iain Wright to stand down as MP

ICAEW’s only Labour MP Iain Wright has announced that he does not intend to stand for parliament again

In a tweet this morning, he thanked his constituents in Hartlepool for “giving me the honour of allowing me to be their member of parliament”.

“It has been an enormous privilege to serve my home town in parliament,” he added. “I have now been an MP for nearly a third of my life. I would like to do other things and now is a good opportunity to do so.”

Wright has represented the constituency since 2004 when he won the local by-election caused by Peter (now Lord) Mandelson’s departure to Brussels as an EC commissioner.

He was immensely proud of being Hartlepool’s first home grown MP, as he told economia in an interview in 2013. “I wouldn’t have thought of being an MP for anywhere else. Although I love politics and the institution of parliament, I love Hartlepool more. It’s not just being an MP that’s important to me, it’s being MP for Hartlepool.” 

As a Labour MP he took on roles in a variety of departments, working his way up from parliamentary undersecretary in the Department for Communities and Local Government and later the Department for Children, Schools and Families, to shadow minister for apprenticeships, then education and finally business.

But his most prominent and influential role has been as chairman of the Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy Committee which he brought out from under the shadow of the Treasury Select and Public Accounts Committees.

Although he has only been in the post since October last year, the committee has regularly hit the headlines, in particular with its investigations into the Sports Direct and BHS sale scandals.

Before becoming an MP, Wright was pursuing a career as a chartered accountant – the “best business qualification in the world”.

He qualified with Deloitte in Newcastle and worked for the Big Four firm for several years before joining regional development agency One North East six months before the Hartlepool seat became vacant.

At the last election, he was returned with a reduced majority of 3,024 after UKIP increased its voting share by 28%.

He is also thought to have taken on the chair of the BEIS committee to avoid working with Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn.

Former chancellor George Osborne has also announced he is stepping down as MP for Tatton, a seat he has held for 16 years, following news of the snap election.

Osborne was appointed editor of the London Evening Standard last month and recently joined asset manager BlackRock as a part-time senior adviser.

He resigned as chancellor shortly after the EU referendum in June after six years in job