Statement on Hitchin & Harpenden

Following the announcement by the Prime Minister that there would be a General Election on 8th June, Labour’s NEC published their procedure for selecting parliamentary candidates. As part of this process, candidates who had stood in 2015 were asked if they would stand again.

I responded that I would not stand again in Hitchin & Harpenden.. This is due to specific prior work commitments. Namely that my employer is in the process of agreeing finance to support me to take professional exams. This support would be put at risk if I were to stand for parliament at this time.

I am not a “career politician” and I have never worked in politics. It was not until I secured a place on Labour’s Future Candidates’ Programme in 2011 that it occurred to me to run for parliament. But I do believe it is important that our MPs bring with them a diverse range of professional and workplace experience. Unfortunately, our political system conspires against this – especially when a snap election is called.

But I will nevertheless do everything I can to work for the election of Labour candidates to parliament in the forthcoming General Election. And I offer the next Labour Party Parliamentary Candidate for HItchin & Harpenden – whoever that is – my wholehearted support.

It was an enormous privilege to represent the Labour Party in Hitchin & Harpenden, to give voice to those who need a Labour government and to make a stand for the principles and values I have believed in all my life – and which my family has stood for since the days of Keir Hardie. I am grateful for the members who selected me and worked on my campaign and for the 11,433 people who wanted me to be their MP.

Hitchin and Harpenden CLP has grown enormously since May 2015 and is packed to the rafters with extremely talented people. I wish them all the best as they work hard to take Labour’s message to their communities.