GP MP to stand down at next election

A Labour MP is to stand down at the next election because he refuses to give up his GP work.

Dr Howard Stoate
Dr Howard Stoate

By Joanne Ellul

Dr Howard Stoate, who has been the Labour MP for Dartford in Kent since 1997, has been a practising GP while carrying out his parliamentary duties.

He said: ‘It is clear however from the tenor of recent debates in the Commons and from the position taken by senior figures within the Parliamentary Labour Party with regard to the outside work of MPs that this position is no longer tenable.'

Believing that his parliamentary role would be diminished if he had to give up general practice, he has issued a statement saying that he is not going to stand to be MP at the next election.

When he first stood for parliament in 1997 he decided to continue his work as a GP. Dr Stoate felt this experience could aid his role of scrutinising government policy on the Health Select Committee and as chairman of a number of health-related All Party Parliamentary Groups. 

Dr Stoate emphasised that he never let his medical responsibilities interfere with his role as an MP and pointed to his re-election as proof that constituents approved of his medical responsibilities. Dr Stoate will be continuing his role of a GP.

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