Joan Ryan to stand down as MP

Joan Ryan MP (credit parliament.uk) web
Joan Ryan MP (credit parliament.uk)

Enfield North MP says she won’t fight next election

Joan Ryan has announced she will stand down from parliament at the next general election.

The Change UK MP said it had been “a huge privilege and honour” to represent Enfield North over two separate spells as the area’s representative but that it had always been her plan to leave at the end of her current term in office. An election looks likely to take place by the end of the year.

Joan said: “It has been a huge privilege and honour to serve as the Member of Parliament for Enfield North. I appreciate enormously the faith and confidence the people of Enfield have shown by returning me on five occasions to speak for and represent them in the House of Commons.

“When I stood in 2017 I always intended to serve only one more term in parliament. We do not yet know when the general election will come, but I will continue to work hard for Enfield until a new MP has been elected and my office will remain open to constituents five days a week.

“Over the coming weeks I will also continue to do all I can to protect the jobs, businesses and livelihoods of the people of Enfield North, by working and voting to prevent a destructive and damaging no-deal Brexit which nobody voted for in 2016.”

Joan was elected as the Labour candidate in 2015 after regaining the seat she lost to the Conservatives five years previously. But she quit the party earlier this year, citing concerns about anti-Semitism and the leadership of Jeremy Corbyn.

The 64-year-old was first elected in 1997. She was a party whip in Tony Blair’s government between 2002 and 2006 and a junior minister in the Home Office from 2006 to 2007, when she was responsible for the ID cards policy that was later scrapped after widespread criticism.

A controversial figure within the Labour Party, Joan Ryan’s initial 13-year spell as Enfield North MP came to an ignominious end in 2010 when she lost to Tory candidate Nick de Bois in the wake of the expenses scandal – after being ordered to repay more than £5,000 in mortgage interest claims.

Joan came bouncing back in 2015, but again attracted controversy in 2017 when she wrote to constituents saying they could vote for her knowing that “realistically” Labour leader Corbyn would not become prime minister. A year later, Enfield North Constituency Labour Party passed a vote of ‘no confidence’ in the MP.

She added: “The people of Enfield have been a joy to work with and for. I am proud of all we have achieved together; fighting hard for our hospitals and for more doctors and nurses; working with the Metropolitan Police, the mayor and ministers to get more police on our streets to tackle the scourge of knife crime; supporting our schools and the wonderful teachers and support staff who work in them; and working with all our communities to make Enfield a great place to live.”