I am not seeking re-selection for the 2014 European elections.
I have been extremely proud to serve as the Labour MEP for Kent West and the South East Region but after 20 years, the time has come to hand the baton to the next generation.
Since I was first elected in 1994, together with my good friend and former colleague Mark Watts, we have seen dramatic changes to the political landscape.
Working alongside MPs, councillors, candidates and party workers I have found myself among friends who have been wonderfully committed individuals.
Despite the setbacks of 2010 Labour is established in the South East of England as never before with councils like Hastings, Southampton and Oxford leading the fight back against this dogma driven Government. It is my belief that we are set to return in numbers and with a new zeal. Our leader Ed Miliband has established a fine platform for us to start from.
My period in office has been a privilege and an honour and I will continue to work with and support the Labour Party for the remainder of my term and thereafter.