MP for Durham Roberta Blackman-Woods has announced she will not be standing in the next election.

Dr Blackman-Woods, who has been the Labour MP for the City of Durham since 2005, said she had made a decision for "family and personal" reasons.

She plans to return to academia. 

In a letter, she said: "Being the MP for this constituency has been and is a huge honour and a privilege that growing up in a council estate I never thought I would experience.

"I have been an active member of the CLP for over 20 years and have been and am simply delighted to the the MP for a constituency I truly love and think is the most beautiful in the country.

"But of most importance to me has been the fact that I have been a Labour MP and fighting for equality and social justice has been at the root of everything I have done and continue to do as an MP."

She added: "However I decided a little while ago that whilst it has been an amazing experience for me to be an MP it is time to move on largely for family and personal reasons. 

"So whenever the next election is - in October or some late date I will be standing down and intend to return to academia at that point.

"I will of course hugely miss being the elected representative of all the wonderful communities that make up Durham."

The Labour Party had requested sitting MPs to inform them whether they intended to re-stand in case there is a snap general election. 

Dr Blackman-Woods, who is originally from Belfast, in Northern Ireland, has a PhD in social science and worked as a welfare rights officer in Newcastle before pursuing a career in academia.

She was a professor of social policy at the University of Northumbria before being elected to Parliament.

She was previously known by her maiden name, Roberta Woods, but added her husband's name after selection by the constituency Labour Party, to avoid confusion with Liberal Democrat candidate Carol Woods. 

In 2005, she was elected with a majority of 3,274.

This increased to 12,364 in 2017, when she secured more than 55 per cent of the vote.