Federal MP Sharon Grierson announces retirement

FEDERAL Newcastle MP Sharon Grierson has announced she will retire rather than recontest her seat at the next election.

Ms Grierson issued a statement this morning citing personal and family reasons for her decision to retire at the 2013 federal election.

She said she ‘‘will not nominate in the forthcoming preselections to be Labor’s candidate’’.

She has also issued a letter to constituents.

‘‘This has been a difficult decision. There is no greater privilege or honour than to represent the people of this great city in the Australian Parliament,’’ she said in the statement.

‘‘But it is time for me to plan for the future at the personal and the political level.

‘‘As I have explained to the electorate my aged parents are confronting mesothelioma - an asbestos related cancer - and my children would benefit from more of my attention. They have given me their selfless support. It is time for me to repay their sacrifice.

‘‘At the political level I am confident that local branch members will choose a worthy Labor candidate for Newcastle now that a rank and file preselection has been assured.

Ms Grierson is expected to hold a press conference this morning.

More to come

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