Long-time Dagenham and Rainham MP Jon Cruddas has announced he is to step down at the next general election.

The Labour MP has held the seat for 21 years, a position he has described as “the greatest honour of my life”.

In a statement to the Recorder, Mr Cruddas said: “There is never a good time to go but, with the Tories in crisis both locally and nationally, I feel it is time to let someone new take on the challenge.

“My constituency has been a marginal seat for the past four elections, but the local Labour Party and trade union movement are in a strong place to take the seat forward as the area grows."

Mr Cruddas added he has seen “many ups and downs” over the years, but that there is much to be proud of.

He will continue in his role until the next election, “whenever that may be”.

“Then I look forward to helping the incoming candidate and focusing on voluntary work and personal projects in the future.”

At the last general election in 2019, Mr Cruddas just pipped current Havering Council councillor and ex-council leader, Cllr Damian White, holding on by 293 votes.