THE Blackburn-born and raised Conservative MP Seema Kennedy has announced she will be standing down at t the next general election.

The mother of three, said she would be focussing on other priorities in her life after a great deal of thought and reflection.

Mrs Kennedy, 45, has held the seat since 2015 and said it had been 'a huge privilege' to serve as an MP for South Ribble.

She is the first MP of Iranian descent.

The former Westholme School head girl said she was 'most proud' of securing a minister for loneliness.

In 2015, Mrs Kennedy became co-chair of a cross-party Loneliness Commission along with Jo Cox MP.

Following Mrs Cox's ’s murder in 2016, worked with her new co-chair Rachel Reeves MP to form the Jo Cox Loneliness Commission.

In 2017, she became the Parliamentary Private Secretary to the then Prime Minister Theresa May - the first female PPS to a Conservative PM.

Mrs Kennedy was appointed the junior minister for Public Health and Primary Care in April 2019.

In July she was moved to tears when Blackburn MP Kate Hollern recalled the death of her partner John Roberts from cancer during a Westminster plea for more government cash to fight the killer disease.

The Labour backbencher was speaking in a special House of Commons debate calling for more investment in radiotherapy treatment for cancer. Mrs Kennedy is a cousin by marriage of the late Cllr Roberts.

Cambridge graduate Mrs Kennedy worked in London as a solicitor, before she joining the family property business in Preston.