Labour’s candidate to be Bishop Auckland’s next MP has spoken out after Dehenna Davison announced she would stand down at the next General Election.

Davison made the shock announcement on Friday (November 25) afternoon that she would not be seeking re-election at the next election, saying she feels “the time is right”.

Labour’s candidate in Bishop Auckland Sam Rushworth, who was only in July, has said he is ‘sorry’ to see Davison standing down, but that he is ‘ready’ no matter who the Conservatives choose to replace her.

Read more: Dehenna Davison to stand down as Bishop Auckland MP at next election

Mr Rushworth told The Northern Echo: “I’m sorry to see Dehenna standing down. I was looking forward to debating with her. She’s a talented woman with a great future whatever she chooses to do next. On a personal level, I wish her all the best.

The Northern Echo: Sam Rushworth wants to be Labour MP for Bishop Auckland.Sam Rushworth wants to be Labour MP for Bishop Auckland. (Image: NORTHERN ECHO)

“Whoever the Tories stand, I’m ready.

“I’m focussed on fighting for genuine levelling-up in our area – better schools, better jobs, regeneration of our high streets, and improving our NHS.

“After nearly 13 years of Tory government, nothing has improved around here and whoever stands for the Tories will only be offering more of the same.  Only Labour offers the fresh start Bishop Auckland deserves.”

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Davison became the first-ever Conservative MP for Bishop Auckland when she was elected in 2019 and became a key figure in the Tory red wall.

The 29-year-old recently became Levelling Up Minister, a role she told The Northern Echo was “the dream”.

The Northern Echo: Dehenna Davison will stand down as Bishop Auckland MP before the next election.Dehenna Davison will stand down as Bishop Auckland MP before the next election. (Image: SARAH CALDECOTT)

Outlining the reasons for her decision Dehenna said: “For my whole adult life, I’ve dedicated the vast majority of my time to politics, and to help make people’s lives better.

“But, to be frank, it has meant I haven’t had anything like a normal life for a twenty-something.       

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“I will always be humbled to have had the opportunity to serve as a Member of Parliament. But now the time feels right for me to devote more of my attention to life outside politics - mainly to my family and helping support them as they’ve helped support me.

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“That’s why I won’t be standing in the next General Election.”