Penarth MP Alun Michael stands down from role
Former Home Office Minister Alun Michael has officially resigned his seat in Parliament to stand as Labour's candidate in next month's election of a South Wales Police and Crime Commissioner.
A writ was served in the House of Commons to hold a by-election in the Cardiff South & Penarth seat he has represented since 1987, on Tuesday (October 23).
The by-election will be held on November 15 - the same day as the election of Police and Crime commissioners across England and Wales.
Mr Michael said it was a strange day, not being allowed into the chambers after 25 years.
"In that time we have seen the building of the Cardiff Bay Barrage and the transformation of South Cardiff," he said.
"Representing my constituents in Westminster has never been easy. But it has been rewarding and the number who carp has been miniscule compared to those who value the work of the MP and remember something that made their lives better or more tolerable - and that's what it's all about.
"But when I became an MP I missed my challenging work with young people and the roles as a magistrate and local councillor in which I had invested a lot of hard work and energy in the previous 15 years. It's the same now: I will miss the House of Commons but I am moving on to meet a new challenge and to do something that I regard as essential to the public good."
As a Home Office Minister, Mr Michael was responsible for steering through the legislation that introduced sanctions for anti-social behaviour.
"I've been through many changes and challenges myself, from succeeding former Prime Minister Jim Callaghan to becoming Tony Blair's Deputy at Home Affairs to becoming Deputy Home Secretary after the 1997 General Election," he added.
"1999, I stepped in as Secretary of State for Wales, later becoming the first First Minister of Wales.
"And as Minister of State for Rural Affairs I had to cope with the aftermath of Foot and Mouth Disease and taking the Hunting Act through Parliament.
"But my biggest regret with regard to Penarth though is that the Vale of Glamorgan Council failed to use the money I secured for the Headland Walkway - as a means of bringing tourism across the barrage and into Penarth. That said I am really positive about the way the new Labour administration is handling itself and I am hopeful the scheme will progress at some point in the future.
"Thank you to everyone who has corresponded with me and supported or challenged me in my role as MP.
"It has been an enormous privilege to represent such a diverse community as Cardiff South and Penarth for so long."
Mr Michael will stand against Michael Baker (independant), Caroline Jones (Conservative), and Tony Verderame (independant) in the PCC elections, described as the biggest shake-up of policing for almost 50 years.
His son, Tal (Labour), is standing in North Wales.
For further information about the candidates visit www.choosemypcc.org.uk or call 0800 1 07 07 08 to order printed information about them.
You can follow the latest news on the South Wales PCC elections on Twitter @swpcc2012 or www.facebook.com/swpccelections
*The South Wales Police and Crime Commissioner will cover Bridgend, Cardiff, Merthyr, Neath Port Talbot, Rhondda Cynon Taf, Swansea and Vale of Glamorgan.
*They will be responsible for holding the Chief Constable and police force to account on the public's behalf and overseeing how crime is tackled in their area. They will also aim to make sure the police are providing a good service.