Labour’s 2015 general election candidate for Peterborough says she is “devastated” she can’t stand again in June’s election as she is due to move house.
Lisa Forbes said her imminent house move will take up too much of her time to allow her to run an election campaign, meaning she cannot try to unseat Conservative incumbent Stewart Jackson.
The membership secretary for Unite the union came within 2,000 votes of winning the Peterborough seat in May 2015 and is a huge supporter of Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn.
She said: “I’m actually devastated I can’t stand. I think I would have had a great chance of beating Stewart Jackson.
“I’m at the exchange of contracts of buying a new house. I do not want to be asking the buyer to delay selling to us.
“I can’t cope with moving and fighting an election campaign which takes up all of your time. It was a heart-breaking decision, but I know there are plenty of good candidates that are just as likely to win.
“I fully support whoever the Labour Party decides to choose.”
On the prospects of a Labour win in Peterborough, she said: “Stewart is a very controversial character and there are a lot of people that would like to see the back of him. That might be a factor.”
The former Peterborough city councillor said last year when she decided not to defend her Orton Longueville seat that she was hoping to contest the general election in 2020.
But even though she is not standing this time she believes Labour can be successful if the election campaign focuses on her party’s policies.
She added: “If we can make this election about the issues and policies we have a very good chance. What I do fear is the election is going to be a re-run of the referendum.
“If we can get our policies out and the new people can see what we are offering, we have a very good chance.
“I think the more people see Jeremy Corbyn they will warm to him. He is an honest, caring politician and we have a real opportunity to change our society for the better.”
Labour councillors Ansar Ali and Ed Murphy have both said they have put their names forward to represent the party in Peterborough in June’s election, with a decision expected to be made either this week or next.