Corby's Beth bows out of Labour parliamentary candidate selection race

Beth had fought the Corby seat at the past two general elections

By Kate Cronin
Friday, 25th March 2022, 3:57 pm
Updated Friday, 25th March 2022, 3:58 pm
Beth Miller

Beth Miller, the Labour candidate who has fought the Corby parliamentary seat at the past two general elections, has said she 'doesn't have the fire in her belly' to run for a third time.

Ms Miller this afternoon (Friday, March 25) confirmed she will not be standing for selection in the marginal seat to fight the next election.

She came within three thousand votes of beating incumbent MP Tom Pursglove at the 2017 general election, but at the 2019 election the gap widened and, in a reflection of the national swing, she finished 10,000 behind her conservative candidate.

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It means that Corby's constituency Labour party will have to select a new candidate to stand against Mr Pursglove at the next election.

Ms Miller was born and bred in Corby and, although she works in London, she still lives in the town with her husband Liam.

She said on social media today: "Standing to represent my hometown for the party I loved and viewed as the best vehicle for positive change was the proudest moment of my life. I was fortunate to have the opportunity to do it twice, in both 2017 and 2019.

"I have many happy memories of my time as the Labour Candidate from April 2017 to December 2019 and cannot thank local people enough for the kindness that was shown to me. It was a divisive time in British politics with the aftermath of the Brexit vote and infighting in Labour but my overwhelming feeling and memory from that time is the kindness and warmth that people showed to me. That kindness far outweighs any trickier times.

"But I would be lying if I pretended it wasn't gruelling.

"I was working in a normal 9-5 to keep a roof over my head and then almost every evening and weekend was spent campaigning or helping local people with issues. While I knew this was worthwhile and I wanted to try to help where I could, I often felt like my time wasn’t my own and missed out on a lot of time with friends and family. Others might be able accept that lifestyle, but it wasn’t for me and combined with the volatile political environment and divided Labour Party at the time, it took its toll.

"I’m still Labour to my core but I don’t have the fire in my belly right now that is required of a Parliamentary Candidate in a hyper marginal seat. It might come back one day but for now, it would be wrong for me to stand and deny someone else the opportunity."

She confirmed that she will not put her name forward for selection, adding: "Thank you again for all of your kindness. I said when I first stood that is the only place I’d want to stand and that remains true. The warmth of our community is so special and I’m so lucky to have been given the opportunity to try to represent us in Westminster."

Three local candidates are already believed to have privately thrown their names into the hat to go forward for Labour's internal selection process, which may take place as soon as later this year. The next general election is due to take place no later than January 2025.