Labour grandee Harriet Harman will step down at the next General Election, after 40 years as a London MP.
Harman, MP for Camberwell and Peckham since 1982, told her local party of her decision this morning.
The 71-year-old said she would continue to “work energetically” until the next election, due to be no later than 2024, but that she was “now confident that Labour is gaining strength under the leadership of Keir Starmer”.
Harman was deputy Labour leader under Gordon Brown and Ed Miliband.
She served as social security secretary, justice minister and leader of the House of Commons at different times througout Labour’s 13 years in power under Brown and Tony Blair.
In an email to her constituents, Harman said: “I feel I can leave the House of Commons now confident that Labour is gaining strength under the leadership of Keir Starmer and the new team he has appointed.
“It has been an overwhelming honour to be member of parliament representing and working for the people of Camberwell and Peckham for nearly 40 years.”
Labour MPs quickly tweeted messages of support to Harman, who as the longest serving female MP is known as the mother of the House.
Shadow Home Office minister Jess Phillips said: “All my life Harriet has been in Parliament and as a woman that life would have been very different if she hadn’t.
“Harriet Harman is my hero. I owe her a debt so big it cannot be repaid.”
New shadow health secretary Wes Streeting said she is a “trail-blazer, change-maker, and champion”.
“We’ll miss her more than she knows,” he said.