NDP deputy leader Libby Davies says that after 40 years of public service, including 18 years as a member of Parliament for Vancouver East, it's time for her to move on.

"I know it's time for me to pass the torch. I will not be seeking re-election in the next federal election," Davies said in a written statement Friday.

The long-time NDP MP thanked her constituents for electing her even as she took on difficult policy issues over the years.

"I have taken on tough issues, like the need for drug policy reform and I remember being told, 'You'll never get re-elected if you take on issues like this.' 

"But the people of East Vancouver have stood by me," she said.

Libby Davies 20141015

NDP deputy leader and health critic Libby Davies issued a statement Friday saying she will not seek re-election in 2015. (Sean Kilpatrick/Canadian Press)

Davies, who is also the party's health critic, was recently credited for pushing forward with an NDP Opposition motion to help thalidomide survivors, which received unanimous support in the House of Commons earlier this month.

Anti-Israeli comments she made in 2010 got the veteran MP in hot water, not just with other parties but with members of her own caucus.

Davies came under fire from the Conservatives and the Liberals after she suggested Israel has been occupying territory since the country came into existence.

Then-NDP leader Jack Layton quickly distanced himself from her comments.

NDP Leader Tom Mulcair was accused by Paul Manly of muzzling Davies for her vocal position on the Middle East earlier this year. Manly is the son of former NDP MP Jim Manly who was arrested in 2012 by Israeli authorities for trying to breach a blockade of the Gaza Strip on a ship. He was released a few days later.

"I am confident it will be another New Democrat from Vancouver East who will join Tom Mulcair in Ottawa after the next federal election," Davies said in her statement today.

The NDP veteran was first elected as member of Parliament for Vancouver East in 1997.

She also served as House leader from 2003 to March 2011.

The next federal election is scheduled for Monday, Oct. 19, 2015.