Veteran Labour Euro MP Michael Cashman has announced that he will be standing down at the next European Election in 2014. Michael will also be standing down from Labour’s ruling National Executive Committee, which he has been a member of since 1998. The longest-serving Labour MEP in the West Midlands made the announcement at this year’s Labour Party Conference in Manchester, which he chaired.
First elected in 1999, Cashman has been Labour’s sole West Midlands representative in the European Parliament since 2009.
“It has been an immense privilege to represent the West Midlands and I look forward to the remaining eighteen months of continued hard work. Since 1999 I have sought to shape legislation to create and protect rights at the workplace, fought for manufacturing industry and campaigned to make the European Union more transparent and accessible for citizens.
“I’ve always tried to speak up for those who were not being heard and I will continue to do so. Whether it is the retired couple who have lost their life savings in a dodgy property scheme in Spain or the victims of homophobic discrimination in Eastern Europe, I’ve tried to give them a voice.”
“At the next election I will have served our region for fifteen years and I think that would be the right time to stand aside for a new team of Labour MEPs. The party will select it’s candidates next year and I look forward to working with them to ensure as many of them as possible are elected in order to fight for the people of the West Midlands in Brussels and Strasbourg.”
Speaking about his retirement from Labour’s ruling National Executive
Committee, Michael said:
“I am immensely proud to have served on the National Executive at a time when the Labour Party did more for LGBT equality than any other political party in British history. I’m the current chair of NEC and I’ve been the Chair of Conference this year and I think it’s good to finish when you’re on top!”
. As a member of the Development Committee, and spokesperson for the Labour Party in the European Parliament on Development, Michael continues to work on number of important issues including the Millennium Development
Goals, Climate Change, and transparency in extractive industries as well as,
overseas development aid.
. Michael continues to serve on the Petitions Committee and was first vice-chair between 2006 and 2009.It is through this work that he highlighted the so-called ‘Spanish Land Grab’ crisis.
As a substitute member of the Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs Committee, Michael has been a rapporteur on several key legislative reports including Access to Document for EU citizens (EU Regulation 1049/2001) to work towards making European Institutions more transparent and accountable to citizens it represents, the drafting of the Schengen Borders Code, the creation of the Fundamental Rights Agency and the facilitation of repatriation of mortal remains.
. As a member of the European Parliament Ceramics, Forum Michael has campaigned for measures to promote the British Ceramics Industry. He continues to campaign for mandatory ‘mark of origin’ backstamp on all ceramic goods.
. Michael continues to be an active campaigner across a wide range of issues and is a trenchant critic of any form of discrimination, a defender of human rights and has worked tirelessly to end discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity. He is also the Co-President of the European Parliament’s Intergroup on LGBT Rights. Michael was the founding chair of the Stonewall Group in the UK, which puts forward the case for equality for LGBT people on the mainstream political agenda in the UK.
. Between 1986 and 1989 he played Colin Russell in the BBC´s soap opera East Enders, a character remembered for being a participant in the first gay kiss in a British Soap Opera.