West Thamesmead councillor Chris Lloyd has stepped down from his role as a Labour parliamentary candidate only three weeks after winning the selection.
Lloyd had been picked by local party members to stand in Swindon North at the next general election. But this morning he said he was standing down because he would have trouble combining campaigning with his day job.
“It’s with regret that I’ve decided to stand down as Labour’s parliamentary candidate for North Swindon,” the Greenwich councillor said in a statement issued to local media in Wiltshire.
“It has been an absolute honour being selected but I have found it challenging balancing work commitments and the demands of being a candidate, and have therefore decided to stand down.
“I’d like to give my thanks to each and every party member that voted for me and took the time to support my campaign, I’m sorry to let you down. I look forward to seeing who is selected for the seat and they will have my full support.”
He won the selection on November 20 after an unsuccessful run in neighbouring South Swindon. That was won by the former Lewisham East MP Heidi Alexander, who was brought up in the town. The Conservatives currently hold both areas.
853 understands that Lloyd – who has family connections with the area – concluded the demands of standing for election 80 miles away in Swindon while representing constituents in Thamesmead and working in a new job would be too much.
The councillor lost his role as chair of scrutiny in Greenwich in the spring and recently gained a new position at the Civil Aviation Authority, his register of interests shows.
While Alexander is seen as having a good chance of victory in South Swindon – where the incumbent Sir Robert Buckland has a majority of just 6,625 – the Conservatives are in a stronger position in North Swindon. Sitting MP Justin Tomlinson has a majority of over 16,000, although the seat was a Labour one while Tony Blair was prime minister.
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