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Dame Anne Begg to step down as pensions committee chair

Labour MP Dame Anne Begg will not seek to retain her position as chair of the Work and Pensions select committee if re-elected this summer.

Begg has led the committee since 2010, and sat as a member of the group since 2001, when it split off from the social security committee.

The news comes just days after the committee published a report calling for an increase in age limits for pensions freedom, as well as a single pensions regulator, and a new independent commission to guide long-term policy.

Begg says she has already told parliamentary whips of her intention not to stand for re-election after the May general election.

A committee spokesman declined to comment.

Since its creation in 2001, the Work and Pensions committee has been chaired by Liberal Democrat MP Archy Kirkwood, now Lord Kirkwood, and Begg’s predecessor Labour MP Terry Rooney.

Following changes to rules in 2010, whips allocate the party leadership of the select committees following an election, with parliamentarians seeking to chair contesting a poll of all MPs.

An MP since 1997, Begg will be contesting her seat of Aberdeen South in May.

She was elected in 2010 with a majority of 3,506 ahead of Liberal Democrat and Conservative candidates. The SNP came fourth with 11.86 per cent of the vote.

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