Labour London Assembly Member Andrew Dismore has announced that he will not contest his seat at the 2020 election for personal reasons. “After almost 40 years in elected politics as a Labour Party councillor, MP and now Assembly Member, it feels the time is right to stand down,” he said.
Dismore, 64, became AM for the GLA constituency of Barnet & Camden in 2012, and currently serves on the Assembly’s economy, police and crime and fire committees. He was previously MP for Hendon from 1997, becoming part of the influx of MPs that formed the landslide general election victory for his party under the leadership of Tony Blair.
He retained the parliamentary seat in 2001 and during that year introduced a private members’ bill to successfully institute Holocaust Memorial Day in Britain. He held Hendon again in 2005, but at the 2010 general election he was defeated by Conservative Matthew Offord by 106 votes. He contested the seat again in 2015, but again lost to Offord, this time by a much clearer margin.
Before becoming an MP, Dismore was leader of the opposition Labour Group on Westminster Council from 1990, a role in which he attacked the Conservative administration of Dame Shirley Porter over the sensational “homes for votes” scandal, which local Labour politicians and activists exposed. He was first elected to the council in 1982.
Born in Yorkshire, Dismore later studied at the London School of Economics. He joined the Labour Party in 1974 and worked as a trade union education officer and as a solicitor.
His announcement has drawn tributes from his long-time friend and former Westminster Council colleague Karen Buck MP, who praised his “phenomenal hard work, dedication, forensic intelligence and dry humour”, and Conservative peer Daniel Finkelstein, who thanked him for his “diligent service” to the public and politics and described him as “very important to the local community”.