NEWENT'S MP, the former immigration minister, Mark Harper, has indicated his determination to stand again for his seat at the next general election.

He believes there are many important local issues to tackle.

Mr Harper, aged 43, resigned last week when it transpired that the cleaner of his London flat was an illegal immigrant.

David Cameron, the Prime Minister, described Mr Harper's decision to resign from the Government as "honourable" and he expressed the wish to see Mr Harper return to the front benches at some point.

In a statement to the Ledbury Reporter this week, Mr Harper said: "First, I want to be clear that while I have resigned from the Government, I remain the Member of Parliament for the Forest of Dean. Being an MP is an immense honour and privilege, and I will continue to serve my constituents across the Forest to the best of my ability. I intend to stand again in the General Election in 2015, having already been readopted as the Conservative candidate by my local party.

"I will continue to serve my constituents in the Forest of Dean, and will as always do so to the best of my ability. I look forward to continuing working on issues such as flood defence, economic regeneration and job creation.”