Owen to step down as Ynys Môn MP

The Labour MP for Ynys Môn has confirmed he’ll step down at the next general election.

Albert Owen said he wouldn’t seek a sixth term at Westminster for ‘personal reasons’. He was first elected in 2001.

Mr Owen, who celebrated his 60th birthday last weekend, said he intended to carry on as an MP until the next scheduled election in 2022.

But he added he wouldn’t be able to commit to another five years if a snap election is called.

In a statement on Wednesday night, Mr Owen said: ”This is not an easy decision for me to take…it has been a great honour to be elected the Ynys Mon Labour MP at five parliamentary elections, and a privilege to serve my home constituency.”

”Being an MP is an intense full-time job…I simply want to do other things and spend more quality time with my family.”

Born and brought up in Holyhead, Albert Owen joined the Merchant Navy when he was 16 years old and stayed until 1992.

He later worked for the Citizens Advice Bureau and ran the J. E. O’Toole Centre in his hometown, specialising in welfare rights.

After gaining a bachelor’s degree at York University, Mr Owen first attempted to enter politics twenty years ago.

He stood for Labour at the inaugural Welsh Assembly elections in 1999 – but lost to the island’s then-MP, Ieuan Wyn Jones, by more than 9,200 votes.

Then in 2001, Mr Owen gained the Westminster seat for Labour from Plaid Cymru – by a majority of 800 votes.

His toughest electoral test came at the 2015 election. Mr Owen retained his seat for the fourth time – but with a slim majority of just 229 votes against Plaid’s John Rowlands.

Yet two years later, he boosted his majority on Anglesey to 5,259 votes over Conservative candidate Tomos Davies.

At Westminster, Mr Owen served on both the Welsh Affairs Select Committee, during his first two terms of office, and the International Development Committee.

He’s currently a member of the Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy Committee and the Speaker’s Panel of Chairs.

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