Cannabis Campaigners' Guide News Database result:
UK: Paul Flynn to quit after 31 years as Labour MP and cannabis campaigner retires over health
Thursday 25 Oct 2018
Veteran MP and medicinal cannabis campaigner Paul Flynn has announced he will stand down after 31 years in Parliament.
The 83-year-old has not spoken in the House of Commons since February after his long affliction with rheumatoid arthritis worsened.
Today Mr Flynn, who has a 5,658 majority over the Tories in Newport West, announced he will be standing down "at the first opportunity."
The MP told the Mirror he will wait to see if there is a snap general election where he can quit with no cost to the taxpayer.
He claimed a snap election is a "real possibility" because "I can't understand why the Tory party hang on to Theresa May."
If not, with the next general election only due in 2022, he appeared to leave the door open to triggering a by-election. Asked if he would go at the next election or sooner if the opportunity arises he said: “Sooner, I think it’s best if I go sooner."
But he added: “But by-elections are expensive and disruptive and I’ve got my staff.”
Mr Flynn later told the Press Association: "I'll wait for a convenient time to go. By-elections are expensive and can be troublesome for the party. I don't think this Government can last for more than a few months, anyway."
Mr Flynn said it had been "an enormous privilege to serve the city that I love."
Asked for his favourite moment in 31 years, he told the Mirror: "There have been a lot of them but I think it's the satisfaction of representing the people in Newport.
"I've never been a careerist politician... The most important thing is to smooth out the inequalities in life and give people who are short-changed a fair deal.:
Mr Flynn is a rebel who famously returned to the frontbench after 27 years in 2016 for a brief spell in Jeremy Corbyn's shadow cabinet.
He joked the decision to make him the oldest frontbencher since Gladstone was a "diversity project" to tackle the "total absence of octogenarians."
When he was sacked months later, he said: "Our glorious leader, in an act of pioneering diversity, courageously decided to give opportunities for geriatrics on the front bench and this was so successful that he decided to create opportunities for geriatrics on the back bench.
"I'm double blessed."
The MP helped make a cup of cannabis tea on the House of Commons terrace for Elizabeth Brice, a multiple sclerosis sufferer who campaigned for medicinal cannabis before her death in 2011.
Last year he urged people to "break the law" and use cannabis in Parliament in a drastic bid to change thinking in government.
"That’s the only way it’ll get through the common mind of the government which is set in concrete," he told MPs at the time.
"The whole law is evidence-free and prejudice-rich."
The MP has also led a charge against Acoba, the Whitehall watchdog that is supposed to police ministers' and civil servants' new jobs in the private sector after they leave office.
Mr Flynn has branded the organisation "futile".
After you have finished reading this article you can click here to go back.
This page was created by the Cannabis Campaigners' Guide.
Feel free to link to this page!