7 January 2000
Rooker to quit Parliament
By FWi staff
FORMER junior farm minister Jeff Rooker has surprised Westminister by announcing he is quitting Parliament at the next general election.
In his time at MAFF, Mr Rooker took a prominent role handling controversial issues such as the beef-on-the-bone-ban and genetically modified crops
During an opposition attempt to overthrow the beef-on-the-bone-ban, Mr Rooker presented the governments case while the then farming minister Jack Cunningham spent the evening in the members smoking room.
The government secured a comfortable majority of 116 in the vote.
Last year 58-year-old Mr Rooker, who has represented Perry Barr, West Midlands, for 27 years, was moved to the job of social security minister.
Announcing he was leaving Parliament, Mr Rooker said: “I do not intend to retire from public life and will keep all options open.”
The London Evening Standard speculates that he may be prime minister Tony Blairs choice for mayor of Birmingham.