MARTYN Jones will quit politics next year to become a lager brewer.
The Clwyd South Labour MP, one of Westminsters most recognisable figures thanks to his trademark bow ties, will devote his time to trying to revive the defunct Wrexham Lager brand.
After two decades in parliament, which included seeing off Boris Johnson at the polls in 1997 and identifying the cause of mad cow disease, he will embark on a serious attempt to bring one of the countrys oldest lagers back.
The 63-year-old bought the name for just £1 when the company was taken over in the 1990s and is now in talks about going into production.
Mr Jones will stand down when Prime Minister Gordon Brown calls the next General Election. But last night he insisted his decision to retire was not linked to the ailing fortunes of the Labour Party. He told the Daily Post: There is a big world out there and there are other things I want to do.
It wouldnt matter if we were 20 points ahead in the polls, I would still be going. It is entirely down to my personal plans. I want to spend time with my grandchildren and I am finding the travelling difficult. It needs someone younger and with the energy to do it.
I also still own the brand for Wrexham Lager and there is somebody serious interested in working on it. I think it has got legs, it would be great to get Wrexham Lager started again.
The father-of-two was elected in 1987 to Clwyd South West, which later became Clwyd South, during the death-throes of Margaret Thatchers Conservative government.
A former microbiologist, he predicted the cause of BSE mad cow disease long before experts who insisted it was a variation of sheep disease scrapie.
He was chairman of the Welsh Affairs select committee for eight years and was also a party whip. Mr Jones, a keen clay pigeon shooter and backpacker, was a key campaigner on failures by officials to fully investigate child sex scandals at childrens homes during the 1990s.
He joined the Labour Party two years before Thatcher first led the Tories to victory in 1979 and during the height of the miners strike pelted her with tomatoes, which landed him in court.
She came to Wrexham during the strike, it was a deliberate move to intimidate and raise tensions, he said. Around 300 police were brought in and two of the people I was with were taken off I saw them being beaten up.
I was so angry. When someone handed me some tomatoes I pelted her car. I was arrested and ended up in court. They ordered me to pay £1.50 costs it was the best £1.50 I have ever spent.
Two years ago he won £5,000 libel damages over a newspaper claim he swore at a House of Commons security guard an allegation he said was a grotesque distortion.
He added: Perhaps my most enduring memory of this terrific job will be working with people determined to do good work for the local community. Volunteers who have worked on making Pontcysyllte a World Heritage Site, helped me fight for Wrexham Lager and the hundreds of other incredible men and women who Ive been privileged to work with in my term in office.