Gordon Brown confirms he will stand down as an MP

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Former Prime Minister Gordon Brown has confirmed that he will not stand again as an MP.

The Labour MP has represented the Kirkcaldy and Cowdenbeath / Dunfermline East constituency since 1983, was Chancellor from 1997 until 2007, and was Prime Minister from 2007 until 2010.

He confirmed this evening that he would not stand for re-election next year, after nearly three decades in office.

The former PM has a mixed record on equalities issues, missing all votes on gay issues except the Sexual Orientations Regulations while Chancellor, and not attending the vote for Civil Partnerships.

However, he later spoke out frequently for equality – and became the first sitting Prime Minister to take part in a Q&A with PinkNews in 2007. He was also the first Prime Minister to host an LGBT-themed event at 10 Downing Street – a tradition that David Cameron has continued.

In 2009, his wife Sarah Brown made headlines when she marched in London’s Pride parade, alongside Labour’s Michael Cashman.

Mr Brown raised eyebrows again last year when he missed the Commons vote on the Marriage (Same Sex Couples) Bill due to a UN trip – though he had spoken out in favour of the legislation.

Mr Brown said while same-sex marriage was being discussed: “I understand the strong feelings in the current debate but I take the view that it is now timely to agree to end another source of discrimination by legalising the right to marriage and I will support the legislation in the UK Parliament and when it comes to the Scottish Parliament.”

He will now focus on his philanthropy work, and his role as United Nations Special Envoy for Education.

Despite the SNP threat to many Scottish Labour politicians, Mr Brown was expected to retain his seat if he ran for re-election in May.