Black Country MP Sylvia Heal has become the latest politician to make a last-minute announcement that she is quitting the House of Commons.
Ms Heal, a deputy speaker, is to leave Westminster after representing the Black Country seat of Halesowen and Rowley Regis since 1997.
She said she was tired of working 80-hour weeks and could not continue for another five years.
The MP follows in the footsteps of Sion Simon (Lab Erdington), Bruce George (Lab Walsall South) and Ian Pearson (Lab Dudley South) in announcing plans to retire shortly before an election is due.
It means that, once again, Labour’s National Executive Committee will draw up a shortlist of potential replacements, giving local activists less control than they would normally have.
Ms Heal, aged 67, also represented Staffordshire South from 1990 to 1992, and has been a Deputy Speaker since 2000.
There was speculation she could apply for the Speaker’s post when it became vacant last year. However, her prospects were not helped by reports that her sister, fellow MP Ann Keen, and Mrs Keen’s husband Alan Keen, also an MP, had used their Commons allowance to pay for a second home just eight miles from their first home.
Ms Heal MP said: “After considerable thought and agonising I have decided not to seek re-election. I am confident that whoever takes over from me as the Labour candidate will have every chance of holding the seat for Labour and helping the party go on to win an historic fourth term.
“I do not wish to continue working a 12-14 hour day, six days a week for the next five years. My commitment to my constituents means I could not do the job in any other way.”