Labour Deputy Leader and West Bromwich East MP Tom Watson will not be standing for re-election in the 12 December election.
Watson broke the news on his twitter feed just as Boris Johnson was launching his election campaign in Birmingham.
The Shadow Culture Secretary has been embroiled in internal rows within the Labour party over the future direction of the movement under Jeremy Corbyn. Allies of Corbyn attempted to oust Watson from his position on the eve of Labour party conference in September.
Stepping down after 18 years in parliament, Watson promised to “continue to devote myself to the things we often talk about: gambling reform, music and arts, stopping press intrusion, obesity and public health.”
“I will devote myself to writing about the public health challenge facing our country, taking on the sugar companies, campaigning for policy change and setting up a “remission for all” movement for type 2 diabetics.”
He said he would announce further plans in the future.
Watson has been a prominent figure in parliament and has led the charge against the press in light of the phone hacking scandal.
But his legacy will be marked by claims he made in 2012 that there was “clear intelligence suggesting a powerful paedophile network linked to parliament and Number 10.”
A report earlier this year published by a former High Court judge also said that the MP put “further pressure” on police investigating claims of a Westminster sex abuse ring, giving public backing to the testimony of accuser “Nick.” His claims in part led to Operation Midland.
Operation Midland was disbanded after Carl Beech – previously known as “Nick” – was exposed as a fantasist. Mr. Beech was found guilty of 12 counts of perverting the course of justice and one of fraud in July of this year, and was jailed for 18 years.
Impact statements described the serial accuser’s “monstrous” allegations had caused emotional distress and were called “smears of the very worst kind.”
This story is breaking and will be updated