THE MEP for Harrow says he is stepping down to seek new challenges, though he is not sure what they are at the moment.

Robert Evans, who has represented London North West for the past 15 years in the European Parliament, said he wants to move on to something different.

He said: “I have done 15 years of strenuous timetabling, being away for three or four days a week.

“I think the time has come for a new challenge rather than setting myself up for another five years.”

Mr Evans announced yesterday he is stepping down from his role and says the workload he has faced has taken its toll.

He said: “Traveling back and forward to Brussels and Strasbourg might seem glamorous.

“But it is mightily exhausting and, if nothing else, it does wear you down.

“I am always rushing to trains and planes and I made the very, very tough decision to move on.”

Mr Evans has said he is still keen to stay involved in Labour Party politics and will campaign at the next local elections in two years time and at the next general election.

But ruled himself out of running for the British Parliament at the moment.

He said: “I don't think I'm looking a parliamentary seat at the next election, I don't think there are that many London seats coming up.”

Mr Evans pointed to many achievements he is proud of during his time as an MEP, particularly new legislation he helped introduce which ensures the rights of disabled people when using aeroplanes.

He said: “I worked for a long time with all sorts of organisations, with airlines and with 27 governments to make sure that happened.

“I think disabled people, without knowing it, are very grateful to me because of the help they can now get at airports.

“It's been an absolute joy working with the people I have, from all political parties at the top down to the grass roots and I'm looking forward to what is next.”