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Friday, December 18, 2009
EXCLUSIVE: Kirkbride Confirms She Won't Stand at Election
Earlier this morning I learned that Julie Kirkbride has decided to confirm her decision not to seek re-election at the next election. She has just posted the above message on her website.
Speculation had been mounting that she had been seeking to reverse the decision she announced earlier in the year during the expenses revelations, but she never confirmed this publicly. There were certainly many in her Bromsgrove Association and in her constituency who were urging her to stand again, but in neighbouring areas marginal seat candidates were, shall we say, less than enthusaistic. They feared a backlash in their own areas if Julie's campaign became a high profile cause celebre for the media, with a celebrity independent candidate thrown into the mix for good measure.
For what it's worth, if Julie had entered a local selection contest in an open primary against other candidates, I think she would probably have emerged as the winner. But there would have been consequences. By taking the decision to close down speculation now, she has allowed the local party to move on and select a new candidate under the current selection system, rather than wait until the New Year when they would have had a shortlist of three imposed on them.
On a personal level I am so very sorry that Julie won't be sitting on the Conservative benches after the election. She is a very popular MP in the Commons, on all sides, and will be missed. Virtually every Labour MP I have ever talked to about her has only good things to say. I am proud to call her and Andrew friends and I hope they succeed in whatever field their lives now take them.
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I respect her for this - there's somebody who knows where her responsibilities to her constituents and the country lie.
Not entirely sure I understand your use of the word "exclusive" here, Iain.
It might have been an exclusive if you had posted it as soon as you heard. But given that the message is on a public web site, it's hardly exclusive now, is it?
Like you, Iain, I am tremendously sad that Julie will be leaving the Commons, and am also proud to call her a friend. Her loss is one of the bitterest consequences of the Expenses scandal, given the far worse abuses committed by some who remain (Quentin Davies, take a bow). She deserves credit for putting her constituents and the Party first and leaving gracefully, and I wish her and Andrew well.
"Her loss is one of the bitterest consequences of the Expenses scandal."
That sounds as if the Expenses scandal blew up out of nowhere, like a change in the weather, and was nobody's fault.
You played up the mess as much as anyone, Iain, although I accept it was not your effort.
Both Julie Kirkbride and he husband cam over as deer in the headlights. I mean that quite literally - they both looked frightened out of their mind.
As it is toffs like Cameron and Osborne whop were claiming as much managed thhe whole thing very well.
Perhaps they are the natural governing class?
Little Black Sambo said...'That sounds as if the Expenses scandal blew up out of nowhere, like a change in the weather, and was nobody's fault.'
it never is anybodys fault in our brave new world !
and I hope they succeed in whatever field their lives now take them...
She's taking the field with her as well! What a trougher.
@ Paul Halsall
The scandal itself didn't blow up out of nowhere, and I don't defend any of the inappropriate claims that were made under the rotten system. My point was simply that in the whirlwind that it caused, those who suffered most were not always the worst offenders, and I happen to believe Julie was poorly treated in comparison to others.
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