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Poplar and Limehouse MP Jim Fitzpatrick announces he won't stand for re-election

PUBLISHED: 12:11 25 June 2019 | UPDATED: 12:12 25 June 2019

Poplar and Limehouse MP Jim Fitzpatrick won't stand for re-election after more than 20 years representing Tower Hamlets in parliament. Picture: UK Parliament.

Poplar and Limehouse MP Jim Fitzpatrick won't stand for re-election after more than 20 years representing Tower Hamlets in parliament. Picture: UK Parliament.

UK Parliament

Poplar and Limehouse MP Jim Fitzpatrick has said today he won't stand for re-election or fight any deselection battle.

Poplar and Limehouse MP Jim Fitzpatrick said today he won't stand for re-election or fight any deselection battle.

The move comes as the national Labour Party office asked its MPs if they're planning to run again. Labour MPs were given a fortnight to reply after the letters went out on Monday.

It's all in anticipation of an early general election, either after a vote of no-confidence in the new Tory leader or if the new prime minister calls it himself.

Mr Fitzpatrick made a series of controversial votes during the Brexit process.

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Tower Hamlets overwhelmingly voted to remain in the 2016 Brexit referendum. The Poplar and Limehouse MP seemingly went against that position.

In March, he voted down a number of proposals meant to stop a no-deal Brexit and supported Theresa May's deal as it went through parliament in April.

All of this led many Labour voters to call for his removal on social media, questioning his ability to properly represent such a remain-heavy area.

Tower Hamlets Labour declined to comment on Mr Fitzpatrick's decision. Mr Fitzpatrick also declined to comment at the time of writing.

Nationally, there are fears of a purge in the Labour Party to shore-up Jeremy Corbyn's position as leader.

By starting the selection process early, local members now have the chance to replace (known as 'deselecting') candidates they don't like.

As Mr Corbyn draws his support from Labour members rather than MPs, the make-up of the party's candidates could become considerably more pro-Corbyn.

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